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After countless sessions with the highest performers across the globe, there is one absolute certainty; high performance isn’t something they “do”, it’s who they “are”.

Image source: Getty Images

Our life is massively shaped by the way we see ourselves. This is our identity. But like so many people, at some point in our lives we may recognise areas we aren’t happy with. Left to fester, this will lead to an issue of the way we see ourselves, and when this happens, it becomes an identity crisis.

So, how do we move beyond this?

Almost all of us have embarked on a change-piece journey at some point in our lives. New year’s resolutions, self-promises, public commitments. Some of us take inspiration from motivational gurus and teachers while others are inspired by past mistakes. Countless of us have tried, and countless have failed and when we dive into reasons why we fail it becomes evident that there isn’t a clear connection between the behaviours we’re trying to change and the person we’re trying to become. In other words, we haven’t connected to our desire for change to a better identity.

After countless sessions with the highest performers across the globe, there is one absolute certainty; high performance isn’t something they “do”, it’s who they “are”. There is no daily struggle of willpower for optimised behaviours because for these individuals its intrinsic. This is optimal because it would be a huge waste of energy to have to battle to engage desired behaviours daily.

The great news is that none of these individuals started with this level of intention. They developed it. And so, what looks like incredible discipline to the outside world is just part of who these individuals have worked to become, and this is something everyone can achieve.

We need to understand that our willpower aligns with what we see as good. We need to truly see the change we are trying to make as good for us, not somebody else’s version of good. A major part of this process is making the connection between this “good change” and our ideal identity.

The challenge that I come across with most people looking to change is that they aren’t clear on what this better serving identity looks like. The result is that when times get tough, as they always do, we tend to give up because the “what” has no connection with the “why”, and the why is critical because it is our identity.

Once we become clear on our ideal identity, we need to become absolutely dedicated to this vision of ourselves. This dedication will pull us through the challenging times and supporting habits will become the process that will help us get there.

Our habits will rise to serve our deepest aspirations, in particular our identity. Now that we are engaged in the habits that are moving us closer to our desired future, we will become far more resilient to the ups and downs of the journey, because we are far more interested in who we are becoming and less concerned with who we are today. As we continue down the path, keeping a clear vision of what we will look like, feel like, be like, at the end of it, we will ultimately develop the ability to see ourselves at the end. This strengthens the resolve of our mission. There will be a point in time where we realise that this new way of being isn’t something we are doing, rather, it’s become who we are. It’s our identity.

RJ Singh is a corporate and ultra-endurance athlete and the creator of Ultrahabits. Find out more at Peak Performance with RJ Singh: Ultra Habits for Ultra Performance

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Setting Permissions With Chown And Chmod

When working with files and directories in Linux, it’s important to understand how to set permissions. Permissions define who can access and modify files and directories on a system.

In this article, we will go through how to use chown and chmod commands to set permissions on files and directories.

Understanding Linux File Permissions

In Linux, each file and directory has three types of permissions: read, write, and execute. These permissions can be set for three different categories of users − owner of file or directory, group to which file or directory belongs, and all other users.

The read permission allows users to view contents of a file or directory. write permission allows users to modify contents of a file or directory. execute permission allows users to run a file or access a directory.

Each file and directory also has an owner and a group. owner is user who created file or directory, and group is a collection of users who share a common set of permissions.

Using chown Command

The chown command is used to change owner of a file or directory. To change owner of a file or directory, you must have root privileges or be current owner of file or directory.

The syntax for chown command is as follows −


The following example demonstrates how to change owner of a file named “example.txt” to a user named “john” −

chown john example.txt

In this example, “john” user will become new owner of “example.txt” file.

You can also use chown command to change owner of a directory and all of its contents. following example demonstrates how to change owner of a directory named “example” and all of its contents to a user named “john” −

chown -R john example

The “-R” option tells chown to change owner of directory and all of its contents recursively.

Using chmod Command

The chmod command is used to change permissions of a file or directory. To change permissions of a file or directory, you must have appropriate permissions to do so.

The syntax for chmod command is as follows −


The following table shows different values that can be used with chmod command to set permissions −




No permission


Execute permission


Write permission


Write and execute permission


Read permission


Read and execute permission


Read and write permission


Read, write, and execute permission

You can set permissions for owner, group, and all other users using a combination of these values. following example demonstrates how to set read, write, and execute permissions for owner, and read and execute permissions for group and all other users for a file named “example.txt” −

chmod 755 example.txt

In this example, owner of “example.txt” file will have read, write, and execute permissions, while group and all other users will have read and execute permissions.

You can also use chmod command to set permissions for a directory and all of its contents. following example demonstrates how to set read, write, and execute permissions for owner, and read and execute permissions for group and all other users for a directory named “example” −

chmod -R 755 example

The “-R” option tells chown and chmod to set permission in recursively.

To effectively manage file and directory permissions, it is often necessary to use both chown and chmod commands in combination.

For example, if you want to change owner of a file or directory and also set permissions for new owner, you can use chown and chmod commands in combination. following example demonstrates how to change owner of a file named “example.txt” to a user named “john” and set read, write, and execute permissions for new owner −

chown john example.txt chmod 700 example.txt

In this example, “john” user will become new owner of “example.txt” file, and will have read, write, and execute permissions. group and all other users will have no permissions.

You can also use chown and chmod commands in combination to change owner and set permissions for a directory and all of its contents. following example demonstrates how to change owner of a directory named “example” and all of its contents to a user named “john” and set read, write, and execute permissions for new owner −

chown -R john example chmod -R 700 example

In this example, “john” user will become new owner of “example” directory and all of its contents, and will have read, write, and execute permissions. group and all other users will have no permissions.


In this article, we have explored how to use chown and chmod commands to set permissions on files and directories in Linux. By understanding different types of permissions and how to use these commands, you can effectively manage file and directory permissions on your Linux system.

Remember that setting permissions is an important part of maintaining security and integrity of your system. It is important to understand risks associated with granting too many permissions, and to be careful when changing permissions on important files and directories.

As always, be sure to consult official documentation for your specific Linux distribution and version for more detailed information on how to use these commands.

The Serious Business Of Sound Quality

Portable computers are the hi-fi stereo systems for today’s music lovers. They enable you to carry your entire music collection with you wherever you go, allow you to expand your listening options via Internet radio and music subscription services, and can even serve as the heart of a full audiophile sound system to pipe music throughout your home.

Think about file formats first

Audio formats can be grouped into three categories:

Lossy compressed: Many file types are compressed to reduce file size. This file type is so named because some amount of data is lost during the compression process, which can compromise sound. The greater the compression, the more data that is discarded. A file encoded at 320kbps may sound indistinguishable from the CD file it was ripped from, particularly if you’re listening to it on your smartphone ear buds. But a 128kbps file will have a noticeable degradation of sound. Popular audio formats like mp3, AAC, and WMA are in this group.

Lossless compressed: As its name suggests, this group of file types uses compression without any loss of data. As a result the file sizes are smaller than an uncompressed (though still at least double that of their lossy counterparts) but they retain the audio quality of the source file. FLAC, WMA Lossless, and ALAC are popular formats in this category.

Uncompressed: These file formats don’t use any compression at all, so they duplicate exactly the original audio source. The downside is the lack of compression results in huge file sizes. An uncompressed file can be 10 times bigger than an equivalent mp3 file, so they’re usually only used when you need to edit the audio. WAV and AIFF are the most popular uncompressed formats.

If you’re sourcing your music from your own CD collection, a lossless compressed format will give you the best balance of great sound and space-saving files sizes. If you’re planning to use iTunes to rip files, your choice is made for you as Apple’s proprietary ALAC is the only lossless compressed format it supports. However, FLAC is supported by a variety of music management apps, including Windows Media Player.

Back up your library

The easiest way is to copy all your files to an external hard drive. Storage prices continue to drop, and you can get 1TB drive for $50-$60. That’s enough to hold around 200,000 songs, more than enough for even the most ravenous music consumer. The average person needs far less, but a general rule of thumb is to buy the most storage you can afford. That’s especially true if you’re using FLAC or ALAC files, which can eat up space quickly.

Add some external speakers

The easiest, and perhaps least expensive, way to do this is get a set of computer speakers. You can opt for standard stereo pairs or 2.1 systems, which include the left and right speaker plus a subwoofer for deeper bass. You may also consider surround-sound options if you’re also going to be using your computer for watching movies or playing immersive video games. The most common way to connect speakers to your laptop is through the audio jack, but there are also USB-powered systems and those that connect over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

You’ll get even better fidelity, though, if you run your laptop through a more full-featured sound system. This requires you to connect the PC to an A/V receiver. The easiest way is to use a cable with a mini stereo plug on one end and RCA connectors on the other. Put the stereo plug into the headphone jack of your laptop and the RCA plugs into the audio input at the back of the receiver and you’ll be ready to rock.

Sound abounds with wireless systems

There are a variety of ways get the audio fidelity of a wired stereo setup with the same flexibility you’d have if you just toted your laptop from room to room. Multiroom music systems like Sonos allow you to stream music stored on your laptop all over your house using your mobile device as a remote control. You can set up a similar system by attaching a Chromecast Audio streaming device to each set of speakers in your home. Multiroom receivers—components that include extra amplification plus built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth—allow you to stream music across rooms.

Digital music has enabled us to enjoy our favorite tunes wherever and whenever the mood strikes us – and you don’t have to sacrifice quality for that convenience. With a small investment in time and components and a capable 2-in-1 device to serve as the heart of your system, you’ll ensure you get the most out of your music.

The Physics Nobel Prize Goes To High

Light is the primary way we gather information about the world, and every breakthrough in light manipulation lets researchers see new aspects of nature in new ways. Today, three scientists shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work developing powerful laser technology that has allowed biologists and physicists to lift the veil hiding the very small, and the very fast.

The award honors the inventors of two influential laser tools: Arthur Ashkin, an American physicist, for developing a way to catch and hold objects using focused beams of light, and Gérard Mourou of France and Donna Strickland of Canada, for their creative solution for concentrating and amplifying laser beams beyond what standard materials would permit. Strickland, an associate professor at Waterloo University in Canada, is the third woman to win a Nobel Prize in Physics, after Marie Curie in 1903 and Maria Goeppert-Mayer in 1963.

“Obviously, we need to celebrate women physicists, because we’re out there,” she said, according to NPR. “I don’t know what to say, I’m honored to be one of these women.”

Ashkin invented a real-life version of the tractor beam device from Star Trek, understatedly dubbed “optical tweezers.” While working at Bell Labs in the 1960s and 1970s, he confirmed conventional wisdom dating back to the 1600s that beams of light could push matter, even if only a little. “Light doesn’t pack that much of a punch,” says David Grier, a physicist who works with optical traps at New York University. “You’re not going to be lifting a truck, but you could imagine moving an atom.”

Today physicists continue to expand the technique’s capabilities. While Ashkin’s tweezers could move just one object per laser, Grier’s lab pioneered a way to expand one beam with a computer-generated image and then focus it down to trap hundreds of particles at once. They’re currently partnering with NASA to scale up the technology and snag ancient ice crystals and dust particles that passing comets may have conveniently deposited in Earth’s orbit, some of which you can see with the naked eye. “That’s actually kind of eerie,” he says, “when you have something big enough to see floating around on a cushion of light.”

The other half of the prize is split by Strickland, and Mourou, currently at École Polytechnique in France, who answered a longstanding prayer of laser-wielding experimentalists: more power. After the invention of the first laser in 1960, physicists steadily reached higher intensity levels for about a decade until they hit a wall.

Lasers first produce weak pulses of light using a device called an oscillator and then amplify them, shockingly enough, with an amplifier. But after a certain point, the amplified light gets too intense and destroys the device like the sound waves from a speaker cranked up to 11. To avoid this meltdown, Mourou and Strickland, who were working together at the University of Rochester at the time, hit on a clever solution—stretch the beam out (they used a fiber optic cable nearly a mile long), amplify it in its weakened form, and then re-compress it to get a super short, super powerful “pulse.” After working out the kinks they published the work in 1985, jump-starting a race toward better, faster, stronger laser pulses that even today shows no signs of slowing down.

Known as chirped pulse amplification (CPA), these unimaginably short and powerful flashes launched multiple fields of experimental physics and opened the door to what Chang calls “extreme science.” The intense heat and magnetic fields the lasers produce let researchers study matter under exotic conditions, create plasma, and hurl off electrons at nearly the speed of light. On the more practical side, with enough intensity you can boil whatever material the laser hits, producing a rapid evaporation that manufacturers use to cut metals with fine precision. Doctors also use this technology to improve the vision of millions of people a year with corrective eye surgery.

The superlative speed of CPA lasers also opened up a whole new realm of fast phenomena to scientific imaging. “When you want to see something fast, you need to use something even faster,” Chang says. His record-breaking 2023 flash, which uses a CPA laser kind of like a spark plug, lasted just 53 attoseconds. (In one second, light can get almost from the Earth to the Moon. In an attosecond, it can traverse just one or two atoms.) Pulses this brief make it possible to capture images and videos of molecules and electrons.

“I’ve been waiting for this news for a long time,” Chang says. “We knew this was going to happen someday.”

This post has been updated.

The Seven Quality Control Tools: A Practical Guide

The Seven Quality Control Tools are an essential part of any quality management system. They provide a comprehensive and effective way to identify, analyze and address problems associated with product or process design and development.

This practical guide explains the fundamentals of each tool, including why they are important, how they can be used in practice, and what results can be achieved from their application.

It also provides tools for assessing the suitability of different approaches for specific situations and guidance on the selection of appropriate methods when faced with multiple options.

Importance of Quality Control in Business

Quality control is implemented in order to ensure that products are safe, reliable, and meet customer expectations. By conducting quality checks on both incoming materials as well as finished products, businesses can detect any problems early on and take corrective action before they become significant issues. Furthermore, businesses can use feedback from customers to ensure their processes remain effective over time.

The Seven Quality Control Tools Check Sheet

The check sheet is a quality control tool that can be used in many different ways. It allows for the collection and analysis of data, which then enables companies to identify problems and take corrective action.

This helps to ensure that quality products are produced and services are delivered without defects. Check sheets also assist with tracking processes, measurements, materials, or other activities related to manufacturing or service delivery.

The information collected on the check sheet can help determine if there are any errors in production or service delivery that need to be corrected before it reaches customers. Additionally, they provide valuable insight into process efficiency as well as customer satisfaction levels so that further improvements can be made over time.

All of these benefits make the check sheet a powerful quality control tool for any organization looking to improve its operations.

Cause and Effect Diagrams

Cause and effect diagrams, also known as Fishbone or Ishikawa diagrams, are a quality control tool used to identify the root causes of defects in processes. These diagrams provide a visual representation of the relationships between different components of a system, allowing users to identify potential sources of errors and determine corrective actions.

Through careful analysis of existing process elements, teams can uncover major points where problems may arise. Cause and effect diagrams are essential for pinpointing underlying issues that need resolution before they become full-blown issues.

They can be used when brainstorming solutions by helping teams think through possible causes and effects associated with proposed changes. Additionally, these tools have been shown to reduce time spent troubleshooting problems while increasing team collaboration on projects.

By utilizing cause and effect diagrams during the development cycle, organizations can effectively monitor their systems for weaknesses or areas in need of improvement.


Histograms are one of the most useful tools in quality control. They provide a visual representation of data that can be used to identify important characteristics such as outliers, patterns, and trends. Quality control personnel use histograms to quickly detect anomalies or undesired processes within their systems.

Histograms can also be used for decision-making regarding process parameters and product specifications by providing a graphical representation of the distribution of data points.

By plotting various pieces of information into a single graph, it is possible to gain insight into how different variables may affect each other and how they may relate to overall performance or quality standards.

Pareto Chart

The Pareto chart is a simple yet powerful tool used in quality control and process improvement. It was developed by Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist who discovered the 80/20 rule, or that 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes. The chart takes this principle and applies it to problem-solving.

Organizing data into bars according to the frequency of occurrence helps identify which areas are causing the most problems so that corrective action can be focused on them.

For example, if defect rates as shown in a Pareto chart indicate that four out of five defects were caused by two different types of failures, then resource allocation for improvement efforts should focus on those two failure types instead of addressing all potential contributors equally.

Additionally, since the chart visually displays how much each factor contributes to overall performance issues, it allows managers to easily compare solutions and make informed decisions about where resources should be invested first.

Control Chart

The Control chart is a popular quality control tool used to track process performance over time. It is based on the idea of Shewhart’s statistical process control (SPC) and helps identify when processes are not performing as expected.

With this tool, organizations can monitor key performance indicators such as cost, throughput, defects, or downtime to detect any significant changes in the system that could indicate a problem.

This allows them to take corrective action before any further issues arise. The Control chart also provides useful information about how different parts of a system interact with each other, allowing for more efficient improvements and better decision-making.

Scatter Diagram

A scatter diagram, also known as a correlation graph or scatter plot, is an effective quality control tool that helps visualize the relationship between two variables. The x-axis of a scatter diagram typically represents one variable while the y-axis represents another variable. Points are plotted on the chart to indicate where each set of data points falls in relation to each other.

This type of visual representation can quickly identify any patterns or correlations between two variables and help determine if there is cause for further investigation into what may be causing variability in either one or both values.

A wide variety of metrics can be examined, such as product performance versus cost, customer satisfaction versus time taken to complete a task, variance observed from different production runs over time, etc., making this an incredibly useful tool for QC teams everywhere.


Stratification is a powerful quality control tool used to analyze the composition of a sample. It is typically used when investigating differences in characteristics between two or more groups. Stratification can be used to help identify potential causes or sources of variation within the sample, and it allows for comparison between different levels or strata by dividing them into distinct subgroups.

Stratification provides an easy way to detect patterns that might otherwise go undetected, and it can provide valuable insight into how variables interact with one another in complex situations.

In addition, stratification can also allow researchers to make better decisions regarding which populations should be studied further, as well as what types of data should be collected from each group for statistical analysis purposes.


The Seven Quality Control Tools are an important set of tools for any business to have in their quality control arsenal. They allow businesses to quickly identify, troubleshoot, and solve problems that can arise in the production process.

By using these seven tools together, businesses can ensure that they are producing the highest possible quality product at all times. This guide has provided a comprehensive overview of each tool and how it is used. With this information, businesses should be better equipped to utilize these powerful tools successfully within their own organization.

The Best Home Speaker Setup For Very Loud, Very High

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A rock concert blasts 105 decibels into your ear holes. And, though your neighbors might curse the day you moved in, you can re-create that level of acoustic insanity with your home entertainment space using good speakers in your living room, basement, or whatever personal sound cave suits you. WARNING—cranking up the volume on your home audio speakers can lead to bad sound. But have no fear: If carefully constructed, a high-end home audio system setup can knock you back in your seat, without losing its fidelity. Learn about the best home speaker setup, here!

Technics Grand Class SL-1200GR

The source.

Even with bass rumbling, the Technics SL-1200GR turntable won’t skip. The aluminum platter (a.k.a. the playing surface) of these house speakers has a rubber lining, the footings are silicone, and polymer tubes string through the body—all absorbing bad vibes. $1,700 (needle cartridge sold separately).

Related: JBL speaker comparison: Which model is right for you?

Audio Research GSPre

The preamp.

The preamp gets an audio signal ready for the amplifier to crankify. Unlike many big-box-store—even high-end—models, the Audio Research GSPre has inputs for modern devices and a circuit, complete with a pair of vacuum tubes, devoted to turntables. $15,000.

McIntosh MC452

The amplifier.

Delivering 450 watts apiece to two speakers, the McIntosh MC452 is among the loudest stereo amps. Ironically, though, it makes quiet work of pushing out massive sound. Inside the 110-pound behemoth, each channel has two amps that cancel out one another’s tremors. $8,000.

Related: The best bookshelf speakers fill your room with sound, not clutter

Bowers & Wilkins 800 D3

The speakers.

The midrange driver (the one for guitars and vocals) on the Bowers & Wilkins 800 D3 rings true at high volumes. A new woven composite stops vibrating faster than its Kevlar predecessor. Meanwhile, a 1-inch tweeter pings highs, and two 10-inch subwoofers go low. $30,000 (pair).

This article was originally published in the May/June 2023 issue of Popular Science.

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