Extra Second Added To Year 2008

28 12 2008

// Woooow, the Earth is slowing down, throwing the timescales of the World Atomic Clock out of sync. Don’t worry, the world’s official timekeepers are here to keep the atomic clocks accurate by adding an extra second to the last day of 2008. This extra second is also known as a “leap second”.

The extra second will be added on to 31 December after 23:59:59 and before 00:00:00 PM UTC(Universal Coordinated Time). It will be the 86,401st second of the year. This is an important procedure because mechanisms such as the Internet-based Network Time Protocol and the satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS) depend on the accurate time kept by atomic clocks.

Scientific Explanation    
After some research here and there on the Web, I found that the Earth takes slightly longer(usually .0002 seconds) than 24 hours to make one complete rotation. After about 500 days, the accumulated difference between astronomical time and atomic time can be about a second.
 In order to synchronize the atomic clocks with the Earth’s observed rotation, the atomic clocks are occasionally instructed to add the leap second.  

Why the Earth’s rotation is slowing down?
The space surrounding the planet is far from empty, the Earth loses its kinetic energy due to all forms of friction acting on it; tides, galactic space dust, solar wind, space weather, geomagnetic storms and among others, causing it to slow down gradually.And also transfer of rotational energy  from the Earth to the moon’s orbit through tides contribute to this slow down. The moon is very slowly increasing its orbital radius.

Effect
Ooohh, we will have to wait a little longer(1 second) on this New Year’s Eve before hearing the firecrackers. The extra second plus the extra day of February 29 will make 2008 the longest year since 1992. For those having an atomic clock at home, don’t forget to add the extra second 23:59:60, lol.

Anyway, on December 31 at “23:59:60“, will be the time to  celebrate a new beginning, a time to wish all our friends and loved ones a happy new year!! Wish you all a Very Happy New Year 2009 & Enjoy Youself.  

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Dangers of CRT Display

25 06 2008

// Well, this article is for those would are still using CRT(Cathode Ray Tube) monitor including me(i am currently using a Samsung SyncMaster 753s). Over the past few years, CRT have been used fewer and fewer in computers. Big companies like Dell, Macintosh, among others have stop the production of CRT displays. CRT displays are cheap but do you really know its dangers?

What is a CRT ?

The technology used in most televisions and computer display screens. A CRT works by moving an electron beam back and forth across the back of the screen. Each time the beam makes a pass across the screen, it lights up phosphor dots on the inside of the glass tube, thereby illuminating the active portions of the screen. By drawing many such lines from the top to the bottom of the screen, it creates an entire screenful of images (definition from webopedia).


The 5 Dangers of CRT (Computer Display)

1. Prolonged use of CRT cause nausea, vomiting, headache and confusion.

2. You can feel extremely tired due to electromagnetic radiation from CRT and can even suffer from memory loss, ringing in the ears and more.

3. Damage your eyes (cataracts, retina damage, eye cancer).

4. Illumination levels can strain and stress the eyes and reduce visual acuity.

5. Some of the larger or long term effects of electromagnetic radiation can include skin rash, nerve damage, joint pain, muscle spasms, digestive problems, blood cells which leak hemoglobin and brain tumors.


Reduce CRT effects of health

Here are some good practices which you must follows if you want to reduce the consequences :

1. Take mini breaks to focus on objects at various distances in the room.
2. Do figure 8 exercise with head letting the eyes change focus as the head moves.
3. Palming exercise – hold palms over eyes.

The palming exercise will teach you to relax your eyes, which in turn will bring healthy energy to your eyes.

First, rub your hands together until they feel warm (about 15 to 20 seconds). Then place your cupped hands over your closed eyes, being careful not to touch your eyes with the palms of your hands. The fingers of each hand should overlap and rest gently on the center of your forehead. Don’t create any unnecessary pressure on your face. If your arms get tired, rest your elbows on a table.

Sit quietly for one to two minutes with your hands over your eyes. The more relaxed you become, the blacker the darkness you will see with your eyes closed.

(More on eyes exercises below)

4. Ergonomics – Set up workstation so screen is level with eyes or at most 10″ down. Please note that bifocal wearers may need to lower monitor a couple of inches.
5. Make sure sunlight or bright lights are not directly behind you so there is no glare.  Better to be at the side.
6. Make sure the screen is not the only illumination in the room – turn on other lights or arrange for natural light.
7. Use a no glare screen

8. Adjust brightness and contrast to optimum comfort.

9. Tilt top of the monitor back 10 to 20 degrees.


Eyes Exercises

Eye Comfort Exercises

  1. Blinking (produces tears to help moisten and lubricate the eyes)
  2. Yawning (produces tears to help moisten and lubricate the eyes)
  3. Expose eyes to natural light

Palming

  1. while seated, brace elbows on the desk and close to the desk edge
  2. let weight fall forward
  3. cup hands over eyes
  4. close eyes
  5. inhale slowly through nose and hold for 4 seconds
  6. continue deep breathing for 15-30 seconds

Eye Movements

  1. close eyes
  2. slowly and gently move eyes up to the ceiling, then slowly down to the floor
  3. repeat 3 times
  4. close eyes
  5. slowly and gently move eyes to the left, then slowly to the right
  6. repeat 3 times

Focus Change

  1. hold one finger a few inches away form the eye
  2. focus on the finger
  3. slowly move the finger away
  4. focus far into the distance and then back to the finger
  5. slowly bring the finger back to within a few inches of the eye
  6. focus on something more than 8 feet away
  7. repeat 3 times

We know that our eyes are an important factor in all of our lives. We sometimes take sight for granted but can you imagine not being able to see everyday things normally. These little measures can help to keep your eyes healthy.





Mauritius Computer Misuse Act

30 05 2008

// Well, the other day I was reading an article about the Computer Misuse Act and I thought that many of us don’t know what it really means or have not even heard about it. Users are more concerned about getting their work done, and they don’t really care about the consequences which may arise from the misuse of computer.

This Act made it a criminal offence for anyone to access or modify computer-held data or software without authority, or to attempt to do so. It created three specific offences to deal with the problems of hacking, viruses and other nuisances which have plagued computer users. These are:

  1. Unauthorised access to computer material (that is, a program or data).
  2. Unauthorised access to a computer system with intent to commit or facilitate the commission of a serious crime (criminal intent).
  3. Unauthorised modification of computer material.

Fines:

#1. Unauthorised access to computer data

Any person who causes a computer system to perform a function, knowing that the access he intends to secure is unauthorised, shall commit an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding 50,000 rupees and to penal servitude not exceeding 5 years.

#2. Access with intent to commit offences

Any person who causes a computer system to perform any function for the purpose of securing access to any program or data held in any computer system, with intent to commit an offence under any other enactment, shall commit an offence and shall, on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding 200,000 rupees and to penal servitude for a term not exceeding 20 years.

#3. Unauthorised modification of computer material

Any person who, knowingly does an act which causes an unauthorised modification of data held in any computer system shall, on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding 100,000 rupees and to penal servitude for a term not exceeding 10 years.

#4. Unauthorised disclosure of password

Any person who, knowingly discloses any password, access code, or any other means of gaining access to any program or data held in any computer system for any wrongful gain; for any unlawful purpose; or knowing that it is likely to cause prejudice to any person, shall commit an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding 50,000 rupees and to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years. Shall commit an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding 50,000 rupees and to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years.

This was just a brief description of the Mauritius Computer Misuse Act 2003. For more details, please visit the government portal , on gov.mu.