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Beware! Blue Whale has killed 130 children

BANGLADESHI teenager girl Apurba Bardhan Shorna’s suicide has saddened all. Shorna, 13, committed suicide on 5 October at Central Road in Dhaka as the end result of her addiction to the online game Blue Whale Challenge. An eighth grader at the Holy Cross Girls’ School and College, she was the daughter of advocate Shubrata Barman. Her suicide note reads, “None is responsible for my death.” A symbol of laughter was drawn in the letter according to the direction of the game.
Developed in Russia in 2013 and created by Philipp Budeikin, a former psychology student, Blue Whale Challenge has become one of the most dreaded games worldwide and has been blamed for suicides of more than 130 teenagers in Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, India, Italy Kenya, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Spain, Turkey, United States and Uruguay.
His suicide ‘game’ aims at his victims who kill themselves are ‘biological waste. Blue Whale involves brainwashing vulnerable teenagers over a period of 50 days, urging them to complete tasks from watching horror movies to waking at strange hours, and self harming. Eventually exhausted and confused, they are told to commit suicide, and it is feared in Russia that dozens have done so at the bidding of Budeikin or other ‘mentors’. Police forces in Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire have urged parents to monitor their child’s social media.

Love letters from teenage girls
 

Veronika Volkova, 16, fell to her death from a 14-storey building

Russian prison authorities say they have received dozens of love letters from teenage girls for the suspect at notorious Kresty jail in St Petersburg, which they passed on to him since he was held in November pending a trial.
Psychologist Veronika Matyushina said: ‘’Most likely, those young girls who fell in love with Philip Lis were not receiving enough love and attention from their parents, and this handsome young man from the Internet provided certain support for them and gave that attention they needed. This is where romantic feelings were born.’’ Some estimates say hundreds of Russian teenagers - the vast majority female - have died after becoming fixated with these online death groups.
A disturbing video purports to show one Russian girl jumping to her death. ‘’He started in 2013 and ever since he has polished his tactics and corrected his mistakes. Philipp and his aides at first attracted children into VK (social media) groups by using mega-scary videos. Their task was to attract as many children as possible, then figure out those who would be the most affected by psychological manipulation.
“Biological waste” is how death group administrators referred to children they pushed to commit suicide.’’ He explained how the deadly process worked.
 

Schoolgirl Yulia Konstantinova, 15, died after falling from an apartment block in Ust-Ilimsk.

The game “Blue Whale Challenge” gives a player 50 days, with one mission for each day, to complete all 50 levels. It starts off with innocent things like watching a horror movie at 4:30 in the morning but eventually moves on to horrifying missions, like killing an animal, self mutilation and talking drugs.
The game’s final mission is “Jump off a high building. Take your Life”. And to make sure players follow, they are told that their parents would be murdered unless they take their own life.

Russian Vice Consul in India
In India the situation has become so bad that Russian Vice Consul Michael J Gobartov had to tell the High Court and the government of Tamil Nadu recently that the Russian government was willing to help India control the Blue Whale Challenge menace.
The game was reportedly developed by 21-year-old expelled psychology student Philipp Budikin. He was arrested in 2016 for inciting at least 16 schoolgirls to kill themselves through the game. He confessed to the crimes and is now in a Russian jail.
Budikin said he thinks of his victims as “biological waste” and told police that they were “happy to die” and he was “cleansing society”, according to a dailymail report.
“I will definitely file public interest litigation (PIL), so that no one dies like this,” said Subrata Barman. Atikur Rahman, officer-in-charge of New Market Police Station, said Shorna’s family filed a complaint that she committed suicide after being a victim of an online game.
Regarding the game, officials of the cyber security cell of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) said they have received no reports of anyone killing themselves because of the game.
 

THE CRIMINAL: Philipp Budeikin, the Russian man behind the sick Blue Whale ‘suicide game’

Nazmul Islam, additional deputy commissioner of social media monitoring team of the cyber security department, told The Daily Star that they have so far heard about one case in the capital on October 5 but were yet to get any proof.

Encrypted messages
The game link is originated in the dark web by encrypted messages and it was difficult for them to look out for it, he said.
The home minister told the media on Monday that he has asked the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to probe the extent of the game spreading in Bangladesh.
Nazmul said, “We inform the BTRC about the game and they suspend or block all those links that have information about the Blue Whale game, whenever it is found.”
“We will now try to go for offline campaigns to create awareness among the parents about the games,” he said.

Inventor punished
Philipp Budeikin, 22, who  invented it in 2013, was sentenced by a Siberian court in a closed-door proceeding, on Jul 19, 2017 . He will serve his sentence not in a high-security facility, but in an open jail. In the challenge, a player, typically a teenager, seeks out a “master” to assign them various tasks over the course of 50 days. Some tasks are mundane while others are more intense, such as watching horror films or waking up at 4:20am, but as the “game” goes on, they grow in intensity are intended to get the player into a depressive state. On the 50th day, the “player” is encouraged to commit suicide.
News of Budeikin’s sentence came just more than a week after two teen suicides in the United States were linked to the Blue Whale challenge. The teens, a 15-year-old from Texas and a 16-year-old from Atlanta, are believed to be two of the first-known cases of the challenge reaching the U.S.
“There are people, and there is biological waste. Those who do not represent any value for society. Who cause or will cause only harm to society,” Budeikin said. “I was cleaning our society of such people… It was necessary to distinguish normal [people] from biological rubbish.”
Schoolgirl Yulia Konstantinova, 15, who died after falling from an apartment block in industrial Ust-Ilimsk. Yulia left a note saying ‘End’ on her social page before committing suicide. The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a probe on ‘incitement to suicide’ regarding the pair’s death.’Investigators checked the scene, the homes of the minors, and interviewed relatives and friends of the victims, to establish the motives,’ said a statement.
Yulia’s friend Veronika wrote: ‘Sense is lost... End.’ She regularly posted sad messages such as, ‘Do you feel that gradually you become useless?’ or ‘I’m just a ghost’. It was reported that two teenage boys were detained by police at the scene after allegedly filming the tragic double suicide.
However there are also some doubts about the extent to which the Blue Whale phenomenon was responsible for the rash of teenage suicides in Russia. Fact-checking website Snopes reported that it was ‘Unproven’ that the suicide game was solely responsible for the deaths.
—Internet

Comment

BANGLADESHI teenager girl Apurba Bardhan Shorna’s suicide has saddened all. Shorna, 13, committed suicide on 5 October at Central Road in Dhaka as the end result of her addiction to the online game Blue Whale Challenge. An eighth grader at the Holy Cross Girls’ School and College, she was the daughter of advocate Shubrata Barman. Her suicide note reads, “None is responsible for my death.” A symbol of laughter was drawn in the letter according to the direction of the game.
Developed in Russia in 2013 and created by Philipp Budeikin, a former psychology student, Blue Whale Challenge has become one of the most dreaded games worldwide and has been blamed for suicides of more than 130 teenagers in Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, India, Italy Kenya, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Spain, Turkey, United States and Uruguay.
His suicide ‘game’ aims at his victims who kill themselves are ‘biological waste. Blue Whale involves brainwashing vulnerable teenagers over a period of 50 days, urging them to complete tasks from watching horror movies to waking at strange hours, and self harming. Eventually exhausted and confused, they are told to commit suicide, and it is feared in Russia that dozens have done so at the bidding of Budeikin or other ‘mentors’. Police forces in Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire have urged parents to monitor their child’s social media.

Love letters from teenage girls
 

Veronika Volkova, 16, fell to her death from a 14-storey building

Russian prison authorities say they have received dozens of love letters from teenage girls for the suspect at notorious Kresty jail in St Petersburg, which they passed on to him since he was held in November pending a trial.
Psychologist Veronika Matyushina said: ‘’Most likely, those young girls who fell in love with Philip Lis were not receiving enough love and attention from their parents, and this handsome young man from the Internet provided certain support for them and gave that attention they needed. This is where romantic feelings were born.’’ Some estimates say hundreds of Russian teenagers - the vast majority female - have died after becoming fixated with these online death groups.
A disturbing video purports to show one Russian girl jumping to her death. ‘’He started in 2013 and ever since he has polished his tactics and corrected his mistakes. Philipp and his aides at first attracted children into VK (social media) groups by using mega-scary videos. Their task was to attract as many children as possible, then figure out those who would be the most affected by psychological manipulation.
“Biological waste” is how death group administrators referred to children they pushed to commit suicide.’’ He explained how the deadly process worked.
 

Schoolgirl Yulia Konstantinova, 15, died after falling from an apartment block in Ust-Ilimsk.

The game “Blue Whale Challenge” gives a player 50 days, with one mission for each day, to complete all 50 levels. It starts off with innocent things like watching a horror movie at 4:30 in the morning but eventually moves on to horrifying missions, like killing an animal, self mutilation and talking drugs.
The game’s final mission is “Jump off a high building. Take your Life”. And to make sure players follow, they are told that their parents would be murdered unless they take their own life.

Russian Vice Consul in India
In India the situation has become so bad that Russian Vice Consul Michael J Gobartov had to tell the High Court and the government of Tamil Nadu recently that the Russian government was willing to help India control the Blue Whale Challenge menace.
The game was reportedly developed by 21-year-old expelled psychology student Philipp Budikin. He was arrested in 2016 for inciting at least 16 schoolgirls to kill themselves through the game. He confessed to the crimes and is now in a Russian jail.
Budikin said he thinks of his victims as “biological waste” and told police that they were “happy to die” and he was “cleansing society”, according to a dailymail report.
“I will definitely file public interest litigation (PIL), so that no one dies like this,” said Subrata Barman. Atikur Rahman, officer-in-charge of New Market Police Station, said Shorna’s family filed a complaint that she committed suicide after being a victim of an online game.
Regarding the game, officials of the cyber security cell of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) said they have received no reports of anyone killing themselves because of the game.
 

THE CRIMINAL: Philipp Budeikin, the Russian man behind the sick Blue Whale ‘suicide game’

Nazmul Islam, additional deputy commissioner of social media monitoring team of the cyber security department, told The Daily Star that they have so far heard about one case in the capital on October 5 but were yet to get any proof.

Encrypted messages
The game link is originated in the dark web by encrypted messages and it was difficult for them to look out for it, he said.
The home minister told the media on Monday that he has asked the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to probe the extent of the game spreading in Bangladesh.
Nazmul said, “We inform the BTRC about the game and they suspend or block all those links that have information about the Blue Whale game, whenever it is found.”
“We will now try to go for offline campaigns to create awareness among the parents about the games,” he said.

Inventor punished
Philipp Budeikin, 22, who  invented it in 2013, was sentenced by a Siberian court in a closed-door proceeding, on Jul 19, 2017 . He will serve his sentence not in a high-security facility, but in an open jail. In the challenge, a player, typically a teenager, seeks out a “master” to assign them various tasks over the course of 50 days. Some tasks are mundane while others are more intense, such as watching horror films or waking up at 4:20am, but as the “game” goes on, they grow in intensity are intended to get the player into a depressive state. On the 50th day, the “player” is encouraged to commit suicide.
News of Budeikin’s sentence came just more than a week after two teen suicides in the United States were linked to the Blue Whale challenge. The teens, a 15-year-old from Texas and a 16-year-old from Atlanta, are believed to be two of the first-known cases of the challenge reaching the U.S.
“There are people, and there is biological waste. Those who do not represent any value for society. Who cause or will cause only harm to society,” Budeikin said. “I was cleaning our society of such people… It was necessary to distinguish normal [people] from biological rubbish.”
Schoolgirl Yulia Konstantinova, 15, who died after falling from an apartment block in industrial Ust-Ilimsk. Yulia left a note saying ‘End’ on her social page before committing suicide. The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a probe on ‘incitement to suicide’ regarding the pair’s death.’Investigators checked the scene, the homes of the minors, and interviewed relatives and friends of the victims, to establish the motives,’ said a statement.
Yulia’s friend Veronika wrote: ‘Sense is lost... End.’ She regularly posted sad messages such as, ‘Do you feel that gradually you become useless?’ or ‘I’m just a ghost’. It was reported that two teenage boys were detained by police at the scene after allegedly filming the tragic double suicide.
However there are also some doubts about the extent to which the Blue Whale phenomenon was responsible for the rash of teenage suicides in Russia. Fact-checking website Snopes reported that it was ‘Unproven’ that the suicide game was solely responsible for the deaths.
—Internet


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New generation of LEDs

This artist’s representation shows an electron beam (in purple) being used to create a 2D superlattice made up of quantum dots having extraordinary atomic-scale precision

WHEN a material is excited with energy, say, a light pulse, the wider its band gap, the shorter the wavelength of the light it emits. The narrower the band gap, the longer the wavelength.
As electronics and the devices that incorporate them — smartphones, laptops and the like — have become smaller and smaller, the semiconductor transistors that power them have shrunk to the point of being not much larger than an atom. They can’t get much smaller. To overcome this limitation, researchers are seeking ways to harness the unique characteristics of nanoscale atomic cluster arrays — known as quantum dot superlattices — for building next generation electronics such as large-scale quantum information systems. In the quantum realm, precision is even more important.
New research conducted by UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering reveals a major advance in precision superlattices materials. The findings by Professor Kaustav Banerjee, his Ph.D. students Xuejun Xie, Jiahao Kang and Wei Cao, postdoctoral fellow Jae Hwan Chu and collaborators at Rice University appear in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.
Their team’s research uses a focused electron beam to fabricate a large-scale quantum dot superlattice on which each quantum dot has a specific pre-determined size positioned at a precise location on an atomically thin sheet of two-dimensional (2-D) semiconductor molybdenum disulphide (MoS2). When the focused electron beam interacts with the MoS2 monolayer, it turns that area — which is on the order of a nanometer in diameter — from semiconducting to metallic. The quantum dots can be placed less than four nanometers apart, so that they become an artificial crystal — essentially a new 2-D material where the band gap can be specified to order, from 1.8 to 1.4 electron volts (eV).

Large-area 2-D superlattice
This is the first time that scientists have created a large-area 2-D superlattice — nanoscale atomic clusters in an ordered grid — on an atomically thin material on which both the size and location of quantum dots are precisely controlled. The process not only creates several quantum dots, but can also be applied directly to large-scale fabrication of 2-D quantum dot superlattices. “We can, therefore, change the overall properties of the 2-D crystal,” Banerjee said.
Each quantum dot acts as a quantum well, where electron-hole activity occurs, and all of the dots in the grid are close enough to each other to ensure interactions. The researchers can vary the spacing and size of the dots to vary the band gap, which determines the wavelength of light it emits.
“Using this technique, we can engineer the band gap to match the application,” Banerjee said. Quantum dot superlattices have been widely investigated for creating materials with tunable band gaps but all were made using “bottom-up” methods in which atoms naturally and spontaneously combine to form a macro-object. But those methods make it inherently difficult to design the lattice structure as desired and, thus, to achieve optimal performance.

Controlling  the band gap
“Our approach overcomes the problems of randomness and proximity, enabling control of the band gap and all the other characteristics you might want the material to have — with a high level of precision,” Xie said. “This is a new way to make materials, and it will have many uses, particularly in quantum computing and communication applications. The dots on the superlattice are so close to each other that the electrons are coupled, an important requirement for quantum computing.”
The quantum dot is theoretically an artificial “atom.” The developed technique makes such design and “tuning” possible by enabling top-down control of the size and the position of the artificial atoms at large scale.
—Internet

Comment

This artist’s representation shows an electron beam (in purple) being used to create a 2D superlattice made up of quantum dots having extraordinary atomic-scale precision

WHEN a material is excited with energy, say, a light pulse, the wider its band gap, the shorter the wavelength of the light it emits. The narrower the band gap, the longer the wavelength.
As electronics and the devices that incorporate them — smartphones, laptops and the like — have become smaller and smaller, the semiconductor transistors that power them have shrunk to the point of being not much larger than an atom. They can’t get much smaller. To overcome this limitation, researchers are seeking ways to harness the unique characteristics of nanoscale atomic cluster arrays — known as quantum dot superlattices — for building next generation electronics such as large-scale quantum information systems. In the quantum realm, precision is even more important.
New research conducted by UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering reveals a major advance in precision superlattices materials. The findings by Professor Kaustav Banerjee, his Ph.D. students Xuejun Xie, Jiahao Kang and Wei Cao, postdoctoral fellow Jae Hwan Chu and collaborators at Rice University appear in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.
Their team’s research uses a focused electron beam to fabricate a large-scale quantum dot superlattice on which each quantum dot has a specific pre-determined size positioned at a precise location on an atomically thin sheet of two-dimensional (2-D) semiconductor molybdenum disulphide (MoS2). When the focused electron beam interacts with the MoS2 monolayer, it turns that area — which is on the order of a nanometer in diameter — from semiconducting to metallic. The quantum dots can be placed less than four nanometers apart, so that they become an artificial crystal — essentially a new 2-D material where the band gap can be specified to order, from 1.8 to 1.4 electron volts (eV).

Large-area 2-D superlattice
This is the first time that scientists have created a large-area 2-D superlattice — nanoscale atomic clusters in an ordered grid — on an atomically thin material on which both the size and location of quantum dots are precisely controlled. The process not only creates several quantum dots, but can also be applied directly to large-scale fabrication of 2-D quantum dot superlattices. “We can, therefore, change the overall properties of the 2-D crystal,” Banerjee said.
Each quantum dot acts as a quantum well, where electron-hole activity occurs, and all of the dots in the grid are close enough to each other to ensure interactions. The researchers can vary the spacing and size of the dots to vary the band gap, which determines the wavelength of light it emits.
“Using this technique, we can engineer the band gap to match the application,” Banerjee said. Quantum dot superlattices have been widely investigated for creating materials with tunable band gaps but all were made using “bottom-up” methods in which atoms naturally and spontaneously combine to form a macro-object. But those methods make it inherently difficult to design the lattice structure as desired and, thus, to achieve optimal performance.

Controlling  the band gap
“Our approach overcomes the problems of randomness and proximity, enabling control of the band gap and all the other characteristics you might want the material to have — with a high level of precision,” Xie said. “This is a new way to make materials, and it will have many uses, particularly in quantum computing and communication applications. The dots on the superlattice are so close to each other that the electrons are coupled, an important requirement for quantum computing.”
The quantum dot is theoretically an artificial “atom.” The developed technique makes such design and “tuning” possible by enabling top-down control of the size and the position of the artificial atoms at large scale.
—Internet


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