If you’re looking to verify the use of a camera you can quickly see how many shots (or shutter actuations) it has taken using these handy apps.Cameras, like any piece of mechanical equipment, will break down over time. After enough use the moving parts will simply wear out.There are instances then, when it is important to know just how many times a camera has been used. Perhaps you’re looking to buy a used camera body or are simply curious about how much life you may have left in yours (you don’t want to be stuck out on a shoot with an old, faulty camera). You can measure how used a camera is by looking at the shutter actuations.Every time a picture is taken on a DSLR camera the shutter opens and closes – one actuation.In this post we’ll share a few FREE shutter actuation apps that will tell you your cameras shutter count, as well as info on the average life of popular DSLRs based on shutter actuations.Canon Shutter ActuationsHere are two free Canon shutter actuation apps that make it quick and easy to determine previous shot counts..Shutter Count Tools is a FREE PC based app that’s LearningDSLRVideo.com recommended. You can download it here. Check out the following quick tutorial on how to use it:Mac users will want to check out ShutterCount, a simple app that will display shutter actuation and serial number for Canon DSLRs. At $1.99 it’s nearly free. ShutterCount can be downloaded from the app store here.Maximum Shutter Actuations Life Prediction for Canon Cameras (taken from this forum):Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS / 1000D – 100,000Canon EOS Digital Rebel T1i / 500D – 100,000Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi / 450D – 100,000Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi / 400D – 50,000Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT / 350D – 50,000Canon EOS 50D – 100,000Canon EOS 40D – 100,000Canon EOS 30D – 100,000Canon EOS 20D – 50,000Canon EOS 10D – 25,000Canon EOS 5D Mark II – 150,000Canon EOS 5D – 100,000Canon EOS 1D Mark III – 300,000Canon EOS 1D Mark II N – 200,000Canon EOS 1DS Mark III – 300,000Canon EOS 1DS Mark II – 200,000Nikon Shutter ActuationsNikon (and Pentax) shooters can determine shutter actuations by uploading a still photo from the camera to MyShutterCount.com. Image file types supported include: “Nikon’s NEF, Pentax’s DNG and PEF format, and of course JPG.”Maximum Shutter Actuations Life Prediction for Nikon Cameras (taken from ShutterActuations.com):Nikon D4 – 400,000Nikon D3, D3x, D3s – 300,000Nikon D800/D800E – 200,000Nikon D700, Nikon D600 – 150,000Nikon D7000, D300s, D300 – 150,000Nikon D5100, D5000, D3100, D3000, D90 – 100,000
Shooting video in the rain is a tricky proposition. Here are a few easy tips for getting it done.Top image from ShutterstockMixing water and electronics is never a good idea. If you absolutely must shoot outside during a rainstorm, there are a few things you can do to make sure that your equipment doesn’t get ruined. Let’s take a look at a few different ways you can protect your gear from the elements.1. Get a Rain CoverImage from B&HThe best thing you could possibly do to protect your gear from the rain is buy a rain cover for your equipment. There are a lot of professional options out there, and most of them feature a few adjustable ties that can fit snugly around your camera.You will, of course, be limited in your ability to adjust focus and view your footage on the camera, but when you’re shooting in the rain, this is just one of the limitations you’ll have to deal with.2. Improvise a Rain Cover (If You’re in a Pinch)If you’ve left your rain cover at home, it’s not the end of the world. There are plenty of DIY options out there. The most popular option is to place a Ziplock bag around your camera and cut a hole out for the lens to stick through. You could even put gaff tape around the lens hole to keep it from opening more.Photo via Purple Summit PhotographyIf you don’t have a ziplock handy, you could always use a trash bag which can double as a poncho to keep you (relatively) dry.3. Use a Lens HoodImage from ShutterstockA lens hood is a simple plastic cover that fits over the end of your lens. They are specially designed to keep out of the field of view. Traditionally, lens hoods are used to protect your lens from bumps and sunlight, but they can also work as a cover to keep rain off the front of your lens.You can pick up a lens hood for about $10 online. I highly recommend getting one for all of your lenses, just in case.4. Don’t Clean Lenses With Your ShirtImage from ShutterstockWater on your lens is super annoying. Not only does it completely ruin your shot, but it also leaves smudges if you try to wipe it off with a microfiber. If you’ve already got water on your lens, I recommend using a t-shirt to dab the water off your lens.However, you shouldn’t use your shirt to wipe your lens, as it might leave microscopic scratches that could add up over time. After you dab your lens, use a microfiber cloth to wipe off any remaining residue.5. Prepare for Bad AudioAudio is almost impossible to work with in the rain. This is for multiple reasons:Rain is Noisy – Even the best unidirectional mics will have an impossible amount of background noise.Rain is Dangerous for Audio Equipment – It goes without saying, but anytime you mix electrical equipment with water, bad things are going to happen. This is especially true with microphones. No matter if you use a boom mic, lav, or video mic, you’re going to run the risk of ruining your mic if it gets wet.Rain Limits Your Audio Options – There’s really no good way to work around rain when it comes to audio. If you use a boom, it’s going to get soaked. If you use a video mic, it’s going to get hit by rain drops and be unusable. The best option in the rain is a lav mic, but even then your run the risk of getting a lot of unnecessary ambient noise.So if you need to shoot in the rain, there’s a good chance you’ll have to do some ADR work in post. It’s also even more necessary to record field noise when shooting in the rain, as there’s a chance that you can use the Capture Noise Print feature in Audition to minimize some of the ambient noise produced by the raindrops.6. Wipe Off Your Gear AfterwardsImage from ShutterstockMost professional gear is water resistant, meaning it won’t immediately ruin if it gets wet. But even water resistant equipment can get compromised if water is left on it for a long time.If you simply stick a wet lens into your pack, you run the risk of water sitting on the internal electronics in your camera. This could easily degrade them over time. For more information on this subject, check out our Pro Lens Cleaning Tools Under $7 post.7. Use Battery-Operated Lights and Keep Them SafeImage from ShutterstockIf you need to use lights during a storm, you can’t simply plug them into an electrical outlet. That would be a major electrical hazard. I recommend using a battery-powered LED light and a large plastic ziplock bag. It won’t produce a lot of light, but it will produce enough to strike a basic set.There are a lot of battery-operated LED light options out there. One of my favorite brands for casual productions is Yongnuo. They create super-cheap LED lights that take Sony batteries. You can pick one up for as little as $60.8. Silica GelImage from ShutterstockMoisture can be an absolute disaster for cameras, especially if the moisture gets inside your lens. The easiest way to suck moisture out of your camera bag: silica gel, the same kind found in shoe boxes. You can pick up a pack of silica gel bags for $7 online.9. Avoid Shooting in the RainIt’s always best to avoid rain when you can. If you’re shooting a documentary, then you may have no choice. But for narrative film, you’ll always want to control your environment by simulating fake rain. There are tons of tutorials out there on the subject. You can even use a water hose if you’re in a pinch.Tom Antos created this really good video demonstrating how you create a DIY rainstorm.For more information on this technique, check out our How to Create a DIY Rain Machine that Actually Looks Great On-Camera post here on PremiumBeat.Have any tips for shooting in the rain? Share in the comments below.
The tech behind the Lytro Cinema Camera spells the end of the green screen, fixed shutter speeds, static depth of field, frames per second, and focusing.It seems like there’s a new technology every week that promises to “change” the filmmaking world in a significant way. Most of these products fall short, but one newly announced product will most certainly change the way filmmakers tell their stories: the Lytro Cinema Camera.The camera, created by Lytro, uses light field technology to analyze pixels for their color, value, distance, and lighting direction. This video sums it up nicely:The End of Green ScreenCurrently if you want to cut your subject out of the background, you have to do one of two things — rotoscope your subject out frame by frame, or shoot with a green screen and key the green out in post.Neither option is great, and video producers and VFX artists often find themselves limited when working under these circumstances — but the Lytro Cinema Camera offers something new. No longer do you have to key out your background based on color or value; you can now use distance as a way to remove your background.Using the Lytro Cinema Camera, you can tell your computer to remove any pixel information farther than fifteen feet away from the camera. This will open up a world of possibilities in both keying and lighting. Users can now shoot their subjects in realistic lighting scenarios without having to worry about “spillage.”No More Focusing — SeriouslyA frame recorded on a camera is a static image that’s played back at 24 or 30 frames per second. The camera converts the pixel information into images as it records (unless you’re shooting in RAW). Because of this, users must get perfect focus on set. This can lead to take after take, especially if your actors have multiple marks to hit.Essentially we have a virtual camera that can be controlled in post-production.However, Lytros Cinema Camera technology allows you to select and keyframe your focus in post. No more focus pulling, no more blown shots. Simply compose your shot and focus in post. This will allow the production to focus more on the actors performance and less on the assistant camera hitting their marks.Below is a single frame still of this technology in action.Click around in the frame below and watch the focus shift throughout:You Can Change Depth of FieldDepth of field is created through a combination of f-stop, focal length, and sensor type. As it stands right now, users can only record a specific depth of field when on set, with very little control over depth of field in the editing bay. If you sit down to edit your project and the depth of field is too shallow, well, you’re out of luck. But the Lytro Cinema Camera (and light field technology in general) is going to change all of this.Using the Lytro Cinema Camera, users can adjust the size of their depth of field in post. Specifically this will allow editors to control what is in focus and out of focus, along with the size and shape of the out-of-focus bokeh.Adjustable Shutter Speed and FPSNeedless to say, frame rate and shutter speed are important components of the filmmaking process. Most films are shot at 24fps, but using a process referred to as High Bandwidth Mode, users can adjust both the frame rate and shutter speed of their video in post, as long as it is less than 300fps. This will have huge implications for people who want to control their motion blur in post.When Can I Use It?You probably won’t be using a Lytro Cinema Camera in the near future. Rental packages for the Lytro Cinema Camera start at $125K, so it’s safe to say that only high-end VFX companies will be using this technology for now. However, If you’ve ever wanted to dip your toes into the exciting world of light field photography, you can actually purchase a Lytro Illum for around $400.Ryan Koo of No Film School sat down with Jon Karafin, the head of Lytro, to discuss the Lytro Cinema Camera workflow and other related topics. If you’re into camera technology — even in the slightest — this is a must-watch video. I also recommend checking out Lytro gallery where artists from around the world are showcasing their light field photography work.What are your thoughts on the Lytro Cinema Camera? Is it going to change everything? Share your opinions on the comments below.
You produce your best work when you “want to” do the work that produces those results, not from when you “have to” do that work.When you fill your work with purpose and meaning, when it’s about your vision and mission, you’re not working because you “have to,” you’re doing it because you want to. “Want to” is what pulls you forward. “Want to” is what makes you passionate about your work.How you approach sales and marketing matters a great deal to your success and to the success of your business. If you “have to” do the work of building a pipeline of opportunities and mixing it up competing for new business, you won’t produce the results you want. You won’t bring your best self to that work, and it’s more likely you’ll avoid the work completely (for as long as that is sustainable, which isn’t going to be very long).When you want to do the sales and marketing work you need to do to build your business, the work sings. Your passion pours out of you into the work and you produce the results you want.You might “have to” have a difficult conversation with a client, a coworker, or your boss. The “have to” makes a difficult conversation more difficult because of your mental state. You won’t be in your most resourceful state, and you won’t produce the very best outcome in that state.If you “want to” have that conversation because it is going to allow you to make a difference in the relationship, make a difference in some result at work, or make a difference in some part of your career, the “want to” is what gets you that result.Turning Have To into Want ToTo transform something you have to do into something you want to do requires that you tie that “have to” back to your purpose, the thing that gives your life meaning. The more you align the things you have to do with your higher purpose, the more passion you bring to those tasks. That’s true for you now, isn’t it? You have no trouble doing the things you want to do, the things you are passionate about.What is it that you “have to” do that you should be turning into a “want to?”How do the things you have to do help you reach your compelling future?Why do you resist doing the things you need to do? What would happen if you brought your best self, your passion to these things?What would your results look like now if you “wanted to” do the things you need to do to produce the results you want?
A gang-rape victim from Meerut committed suicide on Monday morning after the Uttar Pradesh police allegedly took no action on her complaint. After the victim, who was resident of Kharkhauda in Meerut, committed suicide, the police tried to distance itself from the incident and claimed that she had not submitted any complaint with them. According to the victim’s complaint, she used to stay in a slum in Kharkhauda and she was allegedly raped by three men with the help of three woman of the slum on June 29. But the Kharkhauda police did not file any FIR when the victim went to the police station with her complaint. According to family members of the victim, she was depressed and tense because no action was being taken against the culprits. “This is a very serious complaint. Action will be taken against the concerned police personnel, if they are found to have not done their job in this case. I am ordering a probe by the SSP (Senior Superintendent of Police),” Inspector General of Police (Meerut range) Rajkumar Verma Verma told the media.
Online examinations for the recruitment of police sub-inspectors in Uttar Pradesh were cancelled on Tuesday after the question papers were allegedly leaked.Director General of Police, Sulk Singh, directed the Special Task Force, that deals with organized crime, to probe the lapse.Expert teams have also been instructed to assist the STF in the probe, a police spokesperson said.The UP Police Recruitment and Promotion Board (UPPRPB) had scheduled online examinations for police recruitment from July 17 to July 31 across various centres in U.P.However, on Monday night several online users complained to the State government and police that the papers were allegedly leaked on social media.Looking into the matter, an additional secretary of the UPPRPB, that conducts the tests, issued a statement late on Monday informing candidates that the exams scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday have been cancelled due to “unavoidable technical reasons” till further notice.On Tuesday, the Board decided to cancel the entire process of recruitment, from July 17 to July 31, saying that reports of a leak had been brought to its notice.”The entire recruitment test process has been cancelled to maintain the propriety, fairness and transparency of the examination,” the Board said.Mr. Singh has directed the police recruitment board to register an FIR in the case.Anand Kumar, ADG Law and Order, said the system of the agency had been “compromised”.”The Board informed us that the system of the agency, whose name we cannot disclose for confidential reasons, was reportedly hacked,” Mr. Kumar said.A case is expected to be registered at the cyber crime thana in Lucknow.The Board said it would inform candidates about the re-scheduled examinations through SMS and email soon, while the admission letter would be available for download on the Board’s website.The exams were being held to fill more than 3,200 posts and over a lakh candidates had applied.In its recent first budget, the Yogi Adityanath government in UP promised to recruit 33,000 police personnel, including 3,200 sub-inspectors. Over the next five years, the BJP government in the State has set itself a target of recruiting 1.25 lakh police personnel.UP, the most-populated state in the country with over 20 crore people, has a short-staffed police force with only 1,62, 783 police personnel. Last year, the Comptroller and Auditor General(CAG) had lambasted the State government, then under the Samajwadi Party, for not doing enough to address the acute shortage of police personnel.For every lakh citizens, UP has only 81 policemen even as the sanctioned strength should have been 178. The national average is 136.42, which is way below the global standards.
Amid protests by rival political parties across Haryana in the case of alleged stalking of a woman by State BJP president Subhash Barala’s son Vikas and his friend Ashish on a road in Chandigarh, a khap (community organisation representing a clan or a group of related clans) has come out in support of the woman seeking strict action against the accused. The Kundu khap leaders have threatened to intensify an agitation if no concrete action is taken on the issue by August 16.A large number of residents of Titoli village, along with those of the neighbouring Sunderpur and Sisroli villages, blocked the Jind-Rohtak highway on Tuesday afternoon, expressing solidarity with the woman and seeking strict legal action.Also Read ‘Stalking’ case: Chandigarh police summon Vikas Barala, friend Ashish Virender Kundu, a protester, said “The family of the victim belongs to the Kundu clan and her ancestors belong to Titoli village. So she is our daughter, we want justice for her. It seems the government is trying to cover up because the accused belongs to an influential family.”Another protester, Rajesh, said that it was not just the members of the Kundu clan, but members of all 36 communities had come out in support of the victim and were committed to continue their fight till the justice was done to her. “It is not about a girl belonging to a particular community or a clan, it concerns all girls and women. So the members of all the communities came out in her support. We too have girls who go to schools and colleges. It can happen to them as well. If the accused go scot-free, it will set a wrong precedent,” he said.Senior officials reached the spot and persuaded the villagers to lift the blockade.Superintendent of Police, Rohtak, Pankaj Nain, said the blockade lasted for around 30 minutes and a case was registered against the protesters under the relevant Sections of the IPC.Vikas and Ashish allegedly stalked the woman, a disc jockey, when she was returning home in the early hours of August 5 in their sport utility vehicle and blocked her way twice. The duo was later arrested and let off on bail.
Top commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was killed in an ambush in south Kashmir’s Pulwama on Wednesday, as two recently injured security personnel succumbed to their injuries. Muhammad Ayub Lone alias Ayub Lelhari was killed in an ambush laid on the Pulwama-Srinagar stretch. Police sources said Lelhari, who was “No.1 LeT local militant” from Pulwama, was spotted travelling in a vehicle after a specific tip off. “It was a brief encounter,” said the police spokesman.Lelhari, also considered the main local face of the LeT in south Kashmir, was once close confidante of slain LeT operation commander Abu Dujana. Sources said the vehicle carrying Lelhari was ambushed at Pulwama’s Banderpora area. “The militant tried to flee towards an apple orchard but was fired upon and killed,” said the official. A policeman was also injured in the encounter.Sources said Lelhari was being shifted to Srinagar for treatment after he suffered injuries in the 16-hour Samboora gunfight in Shopian on Sunday, in which three militants including Hizbul Mujahideen operational commander Yasin Itoo were killed.“He (Lelhari) was one of the most wanted terrorists. It’s a great success for the forces,” said Director General of Police, J&K, S.P. Vaid.Injured jawans dead Meanwhile, a CRPF jawan, identified as Constable Reyaz Ahmad, who was injured in a grenade attack by militants in Budgam district on Monday, succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday in a Srinagar hospital.An Army spokesman said injured soldier, Narendra Singh, who sustained bullet injuries from across the Line of Control in Rampur Sector on August 7, also succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday.Lt. Gen. J.S. Sandhu, Chinar Corps Commander, and all ranks “paid homage to the martyr”. Singh (43) had joined the Army in 1994 and hailed from Village Haripur in Dehradun. He is survived by his wife Asha Devi and two daughters.“The mortal remains of the martyr were flown for last rites to his native village in Dehradun where he would be laid to rest with full military honours,” said the army spokesman. LeT reacts to PM’s speechMeanwhile, militant LeT on Wednesday said it rejects Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “fake sympathy”.“It is a long followed tradition by Chanakya puppets as a saying goes, ‘Malice concealed behind sweet talk’. If Mr. Modi is concerned about the Kashmir issue then why youth are being martyred on a daily basis?” LeT chief Mehmood Shah in a statment issued in Srinagar.He said Mr. Modi “is denying the ground realities”. “Muslims are being selectively targeted. Freedom of religion is scarce in Kashmir. If Mr. Modi is concerned about the solution to the Kashmir dispute, then he must vacate Indian forces and let the UN resolutions be implemented,” he said.
Seven railway staff were suspended in connection with the lapses that led to the coaches of an Express train to travel a few km without engine in Odisha, a railway official said on April 8. While five railway staff were placed under suspension on Sunday morning, two had been suspended soon after the coaches of Ahmedabad-Puri Express rolled down at Titlagarh in Balangir district after detachment of engine on Saturday night, he said. The suspended staff included two engine drivers, three carriage repairing staff and two operating department employees, an East Coast Railway (ECoR) spokesman said.A possible disaster was averted after Ahmedabad-Puri Express train with 22 coaches rolled down without engine. The coaches travelled from Titlagarh station in Balangir district towards Kesinga in Kalahandi district after the engine was detached to be attached at the other end. All passengers were safe and the coaches were stopped by alert staff by putting stones and bringing the train to a halt, the spokesman said, adding the section from Titlagarh towards Kesinga has a downward slope.The incident happened apparently due to non-application of skid-brake on the wheels of the coaches by the staff deployed there. According to rules, the staff should have put the skids. “When engine is detached to be attached at the other end, coaches should be secured with skids at the wheels. In this case, it appears that skids were not placed properly. Facts will be known after detailed enquiry,” he said. DRM Sambalpur Jaideep Gupta has ordered a senior officer-level probe consisting of divisional heads of different departments. Soon after the incident, an engine was sent from Titlagarh to ferry the coaches, he said. ECoR General Manager Umesh Singh has sought immediate corrective action and stringent action in the incident. Strictest action will be initiated against any negligent act endangering safety of trains. Safety is non-negotiable and cannot be compromised with. Any Railway employee found guilty will be taken up severely, Singh said. In the wake of the incident, Chief Safety Officer of ECoR S.S.Mishra has advised a special safety drive at all stations in East Coast where engine reversal of mail and express trains takes place and also at terminals where trains terminate. Some of these stations are Talcher, Bhadrakh, Angul, Paradip, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Puri and Sambalpur.
At least eight persons were killed and 20 injured when a State Transport Corporation bus veered off the road at Gajehri near Theog in anterior Shimla on Friday morning. The bus was going from Shimla to Sharontha village in Rohru tehsil.Seriously injuredThe seriously injured have been admitted to the Indira Gandhi Medical College Hospital here.While seven persons died on the spot, the other succumbed to injuries at the IGMC hospital.All the bodies and the injured have been identified, said the policeThe cause of accident is yet to be ascertained. The driver had probably lost the control over the bus while descending a steep, said locals.Expressing grief over the accident, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur directed the district administration to provide all possible help to the families of the deceased and best treatment to those admitted to hospitals. As an immediate relief measure, the district administration and the transport corporation have given ₹15,000 and ₹10,000 each to the family members of the deceased.
Four people were rescued even as some were feared trapped after two building blocks, constructed under a government housing scheme nearly two decades ago, collapsed in Odhav locality on Sunday, officials said. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the fire brigade were deployed to rescue people from the debris of the two blocks, each four-storeyed, said Minister of State for Home Pradipsinh Jadeja. “The blocks were vacated on Saturday by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation officials after it appeared that the buildings might collapse any time. But a few residents of the apartment came back and were inside the building when it collapsed,” Jadeja said. Jadeja said it was likely that 8-10 people were trapped under the debris but added that the exact number of those trapped was still not known. AMC Assistant Chief Fire Officer Rajesh Bhatt said four people had been rescued so far. “Some residents had returned to the building today due to rains despite them AMC officials asking people to vacate their houses,” said Ahmedabad Mayor Bijal Patel. AMC Commissioner Vijay Nehra said two blocks of the building of the government colony, each having around 150 residents, collapsed completely. “After noticing damage, we got the buildings vacated yesterday. Around 300 people had vacated, but some of the residents returned. Some of them are still trapped,” Mr. Nehra said. Gujarat Chief minister Vijay Rupani directed the district collector to take the services of the NDRF to evacuate the trapped people, a government official said.
As the Centre grades panchayat constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir according to their “threat potential”, the chief of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) says that “grenade attacks” on forces was a major concern this year.CRPF Director-General R.R Bhatnagar told The Hindu that militants active in the Kashmir Valley got most of their armaments, including the “so-called Chinese grenades”, from across the border.The CRPF would be at the forefront of the security set-up for the panchayat polls in the State, where the security for individual candidates would also be factored in, a senior government official said on Tuesday. The State under Governor’s rule is gearing up for panchayat and urban local body polls that were previously held in 2011 and 2005, respectively, after a gap of four decades. Major political parties such as the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have decided to boycott the polls to be held in October-November. J&K has 4,378 panchayats.A senior Home Ministry official said that panchayat polls were not “party-based” and the boycott by the political parties was unlikely to have any bearing on them. The Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) has threatened to pour acid in the eyes of people who participate in the electoral process. Mr. Bhatnagar said, “Till August this year, there have been 20 grenade attacks on security pickets. In 2016, there were eight such attacks. Since our presence in crowded areas has increased, militants use the cover of the crowd — they hit and run.”Stone throwingThe officer said that since 2016, there had been a sharp decrease in incidents of stone throwing in the Valley. “Stone pelting is well under control. We are dealing with it more effectively. A lot of encounters have taken place, security forces have had huge success, and they have an upper hand now,” he said.The DG said that stone throwing incidents involving the CRPF were down to 400 this year, compared with about 1,600 in 2016. Violent protests broke out in the Valley after July 8, 2016 — when HM commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces. Several people were blinded due to injuries inflicted by pellet guns used by the CRPF.“We are effectively using less lethal ammunition to be able to control the mobs, it is a challenge…we have got better protective gears now, so that fewer injuries are suffered by our personnel. We use various less lethal options like tear gas ammunition and plastic bullets…pellet guns are used as a last resort,” he said. Another official said that around 30,000 CRPF personnel deployed for the Amarnath Yatra would be diverted for the polls.
BJP leader and Rajasthan Labour Minister Jaswant Singh Yadav has stirred a controversy over his criticism of Congress president Rahul Gandhi on the Rafale deal. Mr. Yadav said the Congress chief was “disturbed” because it was India and not Pakistan which had acquired the fighter jets.Addressing a public meeting in Alwar, Mr. Yadav said Rafale planes were acquired by India after a great difficulty. “Pakistan did not acquire it. Rahul Gandhi is disturbed that [Prime Minister] Modiji and not Pakistan received it,” he said. A video footage of the event showed the audience clapping and raising slogans in support of the BJP.Mr. Yadav said: “He [Mr. Gandhi] tells the people of India that Hindus are terrorists. What does it mean? If you want to please Pakistan, why are you insulting us?” He also questioned Mr. Gandhi’s ability to lead the country and asked, “What will such a man do by becoming the Prime Minister.”
Mumbaikars can expect surge pricing while booking their Ola and Uber cabs on Sunday, as cab drivers are expected to go offline from Saturday night. Last month, the drivers had gone on a 12-day strike, which was called off on November 2, leading to widespread inconvenience to commuters and losses for the drivers who have been demanding a price hike in sync with the rising fuel prices. They had warned that the strike would resume if a solution was not found by November 15. Govindrao Mohite, general secretary of the Maharashtra Rajya Rashtriya Kamgar Sangh (MRRKS) said drivers will begin going offline from 11 p.m on Saturday. “We will also take out a morcha from Bharatmata Cinema to Mantralaya on Monday,” Mr. Mohite said. The strike has been called by MRRKS and Marathi Kamgar Sena (MKS). Mahesh Jadhav, president of MKS said they have no option but to strike again. “The transport minister said this was a matter between private companies and drivers. Then why did he call the November 2 meeting?” he asked. On Thursday, union officials had said that they will give the government two more days to meet their demands. Several drivers, however, said they did not want to participate in the strike but were worried about their safety. “I don’t know how I will manage again. There is an environment of fear that is being created through social media regarding the strike. How many of us can the police protect?” asked a driver who did not wish to be named. Union officials said the striking drivers have been asked to not vandalise taxis that will ply.Meanwhile, police officials have taken precautions since the strike was declared. “We have placed a patrol van outside Ola’s office,” Navin Reddy, deputy commissioner of police, zone 10, said. During the last strike, drivers had staged a protest outside Ola’s office in Andheri.
Thirty-four years after the Bhopal gas tragedy, survivors continue to demand proper rehabilitation, adequate compensation and proper medical treatment for ailments caused by the toxic leak.‘Worst disaster’In what is termed as the world’s worst industrial disaster, over 15,000 people were killed after methyl isocyanate leaked on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984, from the pesticide plant of Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) in the city.More than 5 lakh people were affected due to the toxic leak.Various organisations fighting for gas leak survivors have been seeking proper medical care, adequate compensation, and cleaning of the groundwater and soil.Survivors’ bodies, including the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh, the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, Children Against Dow Carbide, and the Bhopal Group for Information and Action (BGIA), issued a joint statement on Sunday, accusing the Madhya Pradesh and Central governments of neglecting the victims.Rachna Dhingra of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action said, “Recent scientific studies show that deaths and diseases attributable to exposure to Union Carbide’s gases continue to occur in Bhopal. Yet, over 80% of the recommendations of the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee for medical rehabilitation of victims remain to be implemented.”President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh Rashida Bee said, “Since 2004…the contamination has spread to 42 settlements around the factory with a population of over 1,00,000. But, the governments at the State and the Centre have done nothing.”Not enough While claiming that about 20,000 persons died due to the gas tragedy, convener of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sanghathan, Abdul Jabbar said, “The pittance which was disbursed as compensation in most instances was never enough to take care of their daily needs.”
Golfer Jyoti Randhawa was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly poaching in a forest range in Bahraich district of Uttar Pradesh, known for its variety of endangered species, officials said.The international golfer and national shooter Mahesh Virajdar were arrested in Motipur range of Katerniaghat, said Ramesh Pandey, Field Director of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.A dead fowl and hides of Sambhar deer and boar were seized from Mr. Randhawa. A .22 rifle, binoculars and range finders were also recovered from his vehicle, which had a Haryana number plate.An officer said Mr. Randhawa appeared to be inebriated.Remanded in custodyPolice slapped serious charges under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and the Indian Forest Act, 1927, against the two. They were produced before magistrate Shikha Yadav, who denied them bail and remanded them in judicial custody for 14 days.The Divisional Forest Officer of Katarniaghat is leading the investigation. He could not be contacted as his phone is switched off.The Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the Upper Gangetic plain falling in the terai of Bahraich district on the Indo-Nepal border. In 1987, it was brought under the purview of the ‘Project Tiger.’Spread over more than 400 sq km, it is part of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve and provides connectivity between the tiger habitats of Dudhwa and Kishanpur in India and Nepal.An official said forest staff, who were on alert mode owing to their year-end protocol, found the 46-year-old Mr. Randhawa roaming in a “suspicious manner.”Mr. Randhawa was ranked among the world’s top 100 golfers between 2004 and 2009.He was married to actress Chitrangada Singh for 13 years before they divorced in 2014. He reportedly owns a farmhouse in Lakhimpur Kheri.Virajdar had served in the Navy as a Captain, a post equivalent to Colonel in the Army and Group Captain in the IAF. He was court-martialled four years ago on charges of financial irregularities.Katarniaghat is home to a wide range of endangered species, including the rhino, Gangetic dolphin, gharial, swamp deer, tiger, white-backed and long-billed vultures and Hispid hare.(With PTI inputs)
A person from Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district has been arrested on charges of supplying illegal weapons to supporters of a separate Khalistan, police said on Saturday.Identified as Guddu, alias Sanjay Rathi, the accused was arrested from Budhana in a joint operation by the U.P. Anti-Terror Squad and the State Special Operation Cell, Amritsar. The 25-year-old is charged with supplying 30-35 illegal pistols to several criminals in Amritsar, said the U.P. ATS in a statement.Rathi had also supplied weapons to two alleged Khalistan supporters, Daljeet Singh and Satnam Singh, who were now in police custody. Two .32 bore pistols were recovered from them.
Sometimes it seems Neandertals just can’t catch a break. Every time an archaeologist comes up with new evidence for something cool and clever they did, another researcher claims they learned it from their modern human cousins. But new discoveries of polished bone tools at two prehistoric sites in France suggest that Neandertals independently invented these finely made implements, without a helping hand from Homo sapiens. The finds may represent the best sign yet that Neandertals were no boneheads when it came to technological innovation.Neandertals lived in Europe and Asia between about 135,000 and 35,000 years ago, after which they went extinct. For a long while they had the territory to themselves; but then, sometime between about 45,000 and 40,000 years ago, modern humans moved into Europe from Africa. At roughly the same time, Neandertal behavior seemed to change and become more “modern”: Their stone tools became more sophisticated, they began to wear jewelry, and they started using bone tools. For many archaeologists, the timing strongly suggested that Neandertals had copied modern human behavior. But other researchers insisted that Neandertals had developed the behaviors before modern humans came to town. The debate often revolved around esoteric discussions of how to interpret radiocarbon dates from sites that both Neandertals and moderns had occupied, contamination of Neandertal sites by modern human artifacts, and other technical details.Now, two teams of archaeologists working at Neandertal sites in the Dordogne region of southwest France have found four sophisticated bone tools that they say are dated earlier than the first known existence of modern humans in the region. Three of the bones were found by a team led by Shannon McPherron of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, working at a site called the Abri Peyrony; and the fourth, by a group led by Marie Soressi of Leiden University in the Netherlands, at the site of Pech-de-l’Azé, about 35 kilometers away.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)As the two teams jointly report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, all the bone tools, made from either red deer or reindeer ribs, are a specialized type of implement called a lissoir (French for “to polish”), previously found only at modern human sites. Most archaeologists think that lissoirs, which have a smooth rounded tip, were used to make animal hides more lustrous and impermeable to water (see drawing above); fine striations found on the bone implements were consistent with that use.The team says there’s little doubt that Neandertals made the bone tools, because both sites also feature stone tools typical of Neandertal culture—such as handheld axs and a distinctive knife—and show no evidence of modern human occupation at any time. As for the possibility that Neandertals learned this skill from modern humans, the archaeologists say that the dates from the sites make this very unlikely. Radiocarbon analysis of the archaeological layers where the bones were found at Abri Peyrony range from nearly 48,000 to 41,000 years ago, thus beginning before the earliest known modern human occupation of Western Europe; and dates from Pech-de-l’Azé, determined by a sophisticated technique called optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), clock in at about 51,000 years ago, “well before our current best evidence for moderns in Europe,” McPherron says.And the bone tools keep coming. Since the new paper went to press, a graduate student working with the team, who was going through material earlier found at Pech-de-l’Azé, found yet another lissoir, McPherron tells ScienceNOW.The team thinks its new study leaves little doubt that Neandertal technical abilities have been underestimated in the past. “At about 50,000 years, the behavior of some Neandertal groups was highly sophisticated, and as sophisticated as early modern human behavior of the same time range elsewhere in Europe,” Soressi says. Indeed, Soressi and her colleagues say, the findings raise an even more intriguing possibility: That modern humans in Europe learned some of their technologies, including the making of fine bone tools, from Neandertals, rather than the other way around.For some defenders of Neandertal abilities, the new discoveries seal the deal. “I think there is no wiggle room for skeptics,” says Francesco d’Errico, an archaeologist at the University of Bordeaux in France. And at least one leading skeptic, archaeologist Harold Dibble of the University of Pennsylvania, says that he finds the new evidence “more convincing.” Dibble, who earlier also worked at Pech-de-l’Azé but was not involved in the current work, says that “the dates of these deposits are quite early and clearly predate the arrival of moderns by too many millennia.”But Jean-Jacques Hublin, an anthropologist also at the Max Planck Institute, is not swayed. He points out that some researchers, including himself, think modern humans were in central Europe by at least 48,000 years ago and that the error margin for the 51,000-year-old dates for Pech-de-l’Azé—plus or minus 2000 years—could still put it in the range of modern human occupation. In that case, Neandertals could have learned to make the bone tools from incoming H. sapiens after all. “These lissoirs were not discovered in layers 91,000 or 73,000 years old, and it would be difficult to argue that they represent an old Neandertal tradition,” he says.Dibble and d’Errico, who disagree on many aspects of Neandertal behavior, both caution against drawing too many conclusions about Neandertal mental abilities from the bone tools alone. “I have a definite problem using technology as a criterion for modernity,” Dibble says. d’Errico agrees: “A bone tool can be very specialized [in its function] and at the same quite simple to make and use,” he says, citing bone toothpicks, which Neandertals also made. “They are not necessarily the expression of an advanced technology and cognition.”
Tread quietly along a river in the old-growth forests of Primorye, Russia, and you may be lucky enough to spot a Blakiston’s fish owl (Bubo blakistoni), one of the world’s largest and rarest owls. Weighing up to 4.5 kg, with a 1.8-meter wingspan, the hulking predator feasts on salmon and other fish that migrate up the rivers from the Sea of Japan. Logging and mining have begun to impinge on the endangered owls’ habitat throughout Eurasia; to learn more about how these activities might affect the birds, researchers set out on foot to hunt for owl nests over in a 20,213 square-kilometer region of the central Sikhote-Alin Mountains. After locating 14 nests by sight, listening for calls or searching for owl tracks and feathers in the snow, they searched for clues about what made the local real estate attractive. Not surprisingly, the birds tend to locate near a river for easy access to fish, and build their nests in trees old enough to contain large decayed cavities. The researchers also discovered something unexpected: The owls tend to nest in areas where old-growth trees have died and fallen into nearby streams, creating the deep pools and complex, shallow channels that provide ideal spawning ground for fish. These logjams also help fish survive in streams through the winter, the researchers report this month in the journal Oryx. In other words: Ancient trees provide owls not only shelter, but year-round nourishment.
MISSOULA, MONTANA—New energy development in the United States could take up a land area roughly twice the size of Maine by 2040, according to a new estimate. Building the new coal mines, oil and gas wells, and solar and wind farms needed to meet projected energy production levels could require an additional 175,000 to 250,000 square kilometers of real estate, researchers reported here at the North America Congress for Conservation Biology. Such “energy sprawl” will complicate efforts to preserve wildlife habitat, they predicted.“There is going to be a very large challenge in siting all of this energy infrastructure,” says landscape ecologist Anne Trainor of Yale University, who is developing the estimates with Joseph Fargione, a science director at the Nature Conservancy in Minneapolis, Minnesota. “But it is important that we understand how much space we might need under different scenarios, and be able to understand the trade-offs related to different energy sources.”To get that big picture, the researchers built on a similar 2009 analysis that appeared in PLOS ONE. Drawing on official energy forecasts, they explore four scenarios: a “business-as-usual” world that assumes no major changes in energy trends; an “increased oil and gas” future in which those fuels play a bigger role; a “limited carbon” world which includes government curbs on greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels; and a “renewables” future that includes expanded solar, wind, and biofuel energy production. They then estimate how much new land would be needed for each energy source through 2040, including infrastructure like roads and transmission lines. A conventional gas well, for example, typically requires 2 to 4 hectares. They made the numbers comparable by converting everything to a common unit, “kilometers squared per terawatt hour” of energy produced.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The largest new energy footprint—about 250,000 square kilometers, or an area roughly the size of Wyoming—was associated with the increased renewable energy future. In part, that’s because solar and wind farms need large areas. But once installed, Trainor notes, these renewable sources can produce power indefinitely without consuming new land, unlike coal mines or oil and gas wells, which eventually exhaust their resource and must be abandoned.The smallest footprint—about 175,000 square kilometers—was associated with the increased oil and gas scenario. That’s because relatively compact fossil fuel deposits can produce a lot of energy, but only for a limited duration. Once depleted, the miners and drillers must move on.The limited carbon scenario took a bit more space, about 200,000 square kilometers, while the business-as-usual scenario came in at about 190,000 sq km. Within that total, surface coal mines were the biggest player, cumulatively consuming an area about the size of Maine. “Unconventional” gas wells, such as those that employ fracking technologies, accounted for about 13,000 square kilometers of land; the footprint of conventional wells was about one-quarter that size. Wind energy covered a land area about the size of Delaware (6400 square kilometers), while biofuel crops and forests would cover Connecticut (about 14,000 square kilometers).The researchers are still crunching the numbers, but even their preliminary results should help policymakers, says range ecologist Brady Allred of the University of Montana, Missoula, who is conducting his own analysis of oil and gas land use in the western United States. “Combining things into a single metric really helps you compare the footprints and see the potential trade-offs,” he says. Renewable energy, for instance, “is clean and green, but it has a bigger footprint. It’s important to take those kinds of issues into account.”Yale’s Trainor, meanwhile, is hoping to extend the analysis to consider other factors, such as the greenhouse gas emissions produced by each kind of energy production. The goal, she says, “is to understand how these scenarios play out on the landscape and in other ways.”