Detective links up Crimes
more crimes might be solved if detectives were able to compare
the records for cases with all the files on past crimes. Now
an artificial intelligence system has been designed to do
precisely that. Working 24 hours a day, seven days a week,
it could look for telltale similarities in crime records and
alert detectives when it finds them. Developed by computer
scientists Tom Muscarello and Kamal Dahbur at DePaul University
in Chicago, the system uses pattern-recognition software to
link related crimes that may have taken place in widely separated
areas whose police forces may rarely be in close contact.
Called the Classification System for Serial Criminal Patterns
(CSSCP), the system sifts through all the case records available
to it, assigning numerical values to different aspects of
each crime, such as the kind of offence, the perpetrator's
sex, height and age, and the type of weapon or getaway vehicle
used. From these figures it builds a crime description profile.
If it finds a possible link between two crimes, CSSCP compares
when and where they took place to find out whether the same
criminals would have had enough time to travel from one crime
scene to the other.
Likesomes makes for Happy Marriages
study conducted by researchers at the University of Iowa suggests
that people tend to marry those who are similar in attitudes,
religion and values. However, it is similarity in personality
that appears to be more important in having a happy marriage.
The researchers led by psychologist Eva C. Klohnen looked
at assortative mating issues (mating based on similar or opposite
characteristics) among 291 newlyweds. The newlyweds had been
married less than a year at the time the study began and had
dated each other for an average of three and a half years.
"People may be attracted to those who have similar attitudes,
values, and beliefs and even marry them - at least in part
- on the basis of this similarity because attitudes are highly
visible and salient characteristics and they are fundamental
to the way people lead their lives," the authors said.
"However, once people are in a committed relationship,
it is primarily personality similarity that influences marital
happiness because being in a committed relationship entails
regular interaction and requires extensive co-ordination in
dealing with tasks, issues and problems of daily living. Whereas
personality similarity is likely to facilitate this process,
personality differences may result in more friction and conflict
in daily life," they added.
Tones mean Big Bucks
Bawa dialled four digits on her flashy mobile phone and whispered
her name into it. Within seconds a computer application converted
her voice into a peppy ring tone. The service christened "Tooki
Ringtones" was one of the latest innovations offered
at Mobile Expo 2005, India's first exhibition on the cellular
industry. With mobile users beginning to look beyond voice
connectivity and willing to pay for more content, cellular
solutions providers are constantly coming up with technological
innovations to meet customer demands. The Tooki ring tone
service is one such innovation that allows users to create
their own ring tones instead of downloading pre-recorded melodies
often culled from Bollywood or western films.
take more to Internet
have overtaken men in surfing the Internet in the European
Union (EU). The 55-plus age group, both among men and women,
are also increasingly gaining computer skills. This trend
is set to continue, says a report by the European Commission,
the executive arm of the EU. However, the poorly educated
and paid are not catching up as quickly and this is denying
them new opportunities. "Education, age and income remain
the most important areas in the digital divide," says
the report. The prohibitive cost of personal computers is
one of the obstacles to reducing the digital divide. This
is particularly acute among the new EU member states. The
original EU 15 members had an average of 43.5 percent of its
population using the Internet - this fell to 41.4 percent
when the EU enlarged to 25.
Fields May Warp Planetary Nebulae
the end of their lives, stars like our sun eject expanding
gas shells known as planetary nebulae. Despite being spewed
out by spherical stars, some 80 percent of these impressive
displays are not spherical themselves, instead exhibiting
complex morphologies. Astronomers have now, for the first
time, detected magnetic fields in the central stars of four
planetary nebulae, suggesting a cause of the irregular structures.
Jordan of the Astronomisches Rechen-Institut in Heidelberg,
Germany, and his colleagues used a tool from the Very Large
Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Atacama, Chile, to
measure the polarisation of light emitted by stars at the
centre of planetary nebulae. Because atoms change their energy
in response to a magnetic field in a predictable way--a process
known as the Zeeman effect--it is possible to calculate the
strength of a magnetic field from such polarisation measurements.
The team analysed magnetic field data for all four stars at
the centre of the nonspherical nebulae they studied, and found
that the fields reach approximately 1,000 times the strength
of the sun's magnetic field. The team next hopes to search
spherical planetary nebulae for any signs of magnetic fields,
to test their theory that these forces are responsible for
intricately shaped nebulae.
Webindia123.com / NewScientist.com / Scientific America.com
by: Imran H. Khan
(R) thedailystar.net 2005