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Hacking and computer security. Read today's research news on hacking and protecting against codebreakers. New software, secure data sharing, and more.
Updated: 18 min 29 sec ago

Designing the future internet

Thu, 10/20/2016 - 15:53
This century, our world will be flooded with hundreds of billions of smartphones, gadgets, sensors and other smart objects connected to the internet. New research is at the forefront of efforts to redesign the internet to handle the enormous increase in traffic.

Creating 3-D hands to keep us safe, increase security

Thu, 10/20/2016 - 14:11
Creating a 3-D replica of someone's hand complete with all five fingerprints and breaking into a secure vault sounds like a plot from a James Bond movie. But researchers recently discovered this may not be as far-fetched as once thought and wants security companies and the public to be aware.

Flying drones could soon re-charge while airborne with new technology

Thu, 10/20/2016 - 13:21
Scientists have demonstrated a highly efficient method for wirelessly transferring power to a drone while it is flying. The breakthrough could in theory allow flying drones to stay airborne indefinitely -- simply hovering over a ground support vehicle to recharge -- opening up new potential industrial applications.

Quantum computers: 10-fold boost in stability achieved

Wed, 10/19/2016 - 19:17
Engineers have created a new quantum bit that remains in a stable superposition for 10 times longer than previously achieved, dramatically expanding the number of calculations that could be performed in a future silicon quantum computer.

With new model, buildings may 'sense' internal damage

Wed, 10/19/2016 - 16:24
When a truck rumbles by a building, vibrations can travel up to the structure's roof and down again, generating transient tremors through the intervening floors and beams. Now researchers have developed a computational model that makes sense of such ambient vibrations, picking out key features in the noise that give indications of a building's stability. The model may be used to monitor a building over time for signs of damage or mechanical stress.

New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Tue, 10/18/2016 - 23:44
A new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits has now been developed, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

'Lurking malice' in cloud hosting services, study finds

Tue, 10/18/2016 - 23:35
A study of 20 major cloud hosting services has found that as many as 10 percent of the repositories hosted by them had been compromised -- with several hundred of the "buckets" actively providing malware. Such bad content could be challenging to find, however, because it can be rapidly assembled from stored components that individually may not appear to be malicious.

Donald or Hillary? Tweetcast predicts your vote

Tue, 10/18/2016 - 23:32
What you tweet says a lot about your politics and who you are going to vote for in this highly volatile presidential election, according to TweetCast, an online tool developed by Northwestern University computer scientists. The algorithm, trained on Twitter users, can predict whether citizens will vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Perhaps more surprising, the tool also predicts which states will go blue or red (Democrat or Republican).

Full-circle viewing: 360-degree electronic holographic display

Tue, 10/18/2016 - 18:14
A research team has described a novel tabletop display system that allows multiple viewers to simultaneously view a hologram showing a full 3-D image as they walk around the tabletop, giving complete 360-degree access.

Portable smartphone laboratory detects cancer at once

Tue, 10/18/2016 - 18:05
Researchers have developed a low-cost, portable laboratory on a smartphone that can analyze several samples at once to catch a cancer biomarker, producing lab quality results.

Typing while Skyping could compromise privacy

Tue, 10/18/2016 - 17:26
If you type on your desktop or laptop computer's keyboard while participating in a Skype call, you could be vulnerable to electronic eavesdropping, according to researchers.

Children involved in cyber-bullying much more likely to view web content containing self-harm and suicide, according to a new study

Tue, 10/18/2016 - 13:38
A new English study on the link between cyber-bullying and suicide has found that ten per cent of children are involved in cyber-bullying, as victims, perpetrators or both, and that they are much more likely to view web content containing self-harm and suicide. It calls for more web-based prevention and intervention strategies to tackle the issue.

Virtual experience gets the elderly to exercise

Tue, 10/18/2016 - 13:38
Virtual Reality can get the elderly in nursing homes to be happier about exercising. A new research project shows that the technology motivates older people in nursing homes to get moving.

Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

Mon, 10/17/2016 - 19:07
A revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material has been created that can be used in a variety of applications, including microscopic actuators and grippers for surgical robots, light-powered micro-mirrors for optical telecommunications systems, and more efficient solar cells and photodetectors.

'Robomussels' used to monitor climate change

Mon, 10/17/2016 - 19:04
Tiny robots have been helping researchers study how cli­mate change affects bio­di­ver­sity. These “robo­mus­sels” have the shape, size, and color of actual mus­sels, with minia­ture built-??in sen­sors that track tem­per­a­tures inside the mussel beds.

Here's how young people decide when they're drunk 'enough,' according to math

Mon, 10/17/2016 - 18:05
Young people decide whether they've had enough to drink the same way the cruise control on a car "decides" whether to accelerate or hit the brakes, explains a unique research project that aims to analyze drinking behavior the way engineers might analyze a mechanical system.

Study applies math to describe tumor growth

Mon, 10/17/2016 - 16:38
A new study mathematically explains how tumors induce the growth of blood vessels. The study maintains that the tips of the blood vessels expand like a soliton, a solitary wave similar to a tsunami.

Drones help write new history of Caribbean

Mon, 10/17/2016 - 16:37
Drones are proving to be a good means of mapping human-made changes in the landscape. Geophysicists are experimenting with drones in inaccessible areas of the Caribbean.

Scientist creates most efficient quantum cascade laser ever

Mon, 10/17/2016 - 15:20
The most efficient quantum cascade laser ever designed have now been created by researchers who have done it in a way that makes the lasers easier to manufacture. Quantum cascade lasers, or QCLs, are tiny -- smaller than a grain of rice -- but they pack a punch. Compared to traditional lasers, QCLs offer higher power output and can be tuned to a wide range of infrared wavelengths. They can also be used at room temperature without the need for bulky cooling systems.

Repurposed sensor enables smartwatch to detect finger taps and other bio-acoustic signals

Mon, 10/17/2016 - 15:12
Thanks to new functionality, smartwatches can recognize objects and activities by monitoring vibrations that occur when people hold objects or use tools. This new technology could even be used to help tune a guitar, say developers.