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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: 8 min 46 sec ago

'Stealth' material hides hot objects from infrared eyes

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 21:47
Infrared cameras are the heat-sensing eyes that help drones find their targets even in the dead of night or through heavy fog. Hiding from such detectors could become much easier, thanks to a new cloaking material that renders objects -- and people -- practically invisible.

Low-cost plastic sensors could monitor a range of health conditions

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 21:47
An international team of researchers have developed a low-cost sensor made from semiconducting plastic that can be used to diagnose or monitor a wide range of health conditions, such as surgical complications or neurodegenerative diseases.

Template to create superatoms could make for better batteries

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 21:24
Researchers have discovered a novel strategy for creating superatoms -- combinations of atoms that can mimic the properties of more than one group of elements of the periodic table. These superatoms could be used to create new materials, including more efficient batteries and better semiconductors; a core component of microchips, transistors and most computerized devices.

Engineering bacteria to exhibit stochastic Turing patterns

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 16:18
A new study has brought science one step closer to a molecular-level understanding of how patterns form in living tissue. The researchers engineered bacteria that, when incubated and grown, exhibited stochastic Turing patterns: a 'lawn' of synthesized bacteria in a petri dish fluoresced an irregular pattern of red polka dots on a field of green.

Scientists print sensors on gummi candy

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 14:14
Microelectrodes can be used for direct measurement of electrical signals in the brain or heart. These applications require soft materials, however. With existing methods, attaching electrodes to such materials poses significant challenges. A team has now succeeded in printing electrodes directly onto several soft substrates.

Enhanced detection of nuclear events, thanks to deep learning

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 04:03
A deep neural network running on an ordinary desktop computer is interpreting highly technical data related to national security as well as -- and sometimes better than -- today's best automated methods or even human experts. The research probes incredibly complex data sets filled with events called radioactive decays.

New 'e-dermis' brings sense of touch, pain to prosthetic hands

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 21:10
Engineers have created an electronic 'skin' in an effort to restore a real sense of touch for amputees using prosthetics.

The sounds of climate change

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 19:02
Researchers describe a way to quickly sift through thousands of hours of field recordings to estimate when songbirds arrive at their Arctic breeding grounds. Their research could be applied to any dataset of animal vocalizations to understand how migratory animals are responding to climate change.

Quantum step forward in protecting communications from hackers

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 16:59
Researchers have shown that a new quantum-based procedure for distributing secure information along communication lines could be successful in preventing serious security breaches.

Interaction of paired and lined-up electrons can be manipulated in semiconductors

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 16:59
The way that electrons paired as composite particles or arranged in lines interact with each other within a semiconductor provides new design opportunities for electronics, according to recent findings.

Crumple up this keyboard and stick it in your pocket

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 16:59
Bendable portable keyboards for use with computers and other electronic devices are already on the market, but they have limited flexibility, and they're fairly sizable when rolled up for transport. Now researchers have crafted an inexpensive keyboard that is so tough, flexible and thin that it can be crumpled up and tucked in a pocket without damaging it.

Robot bloodhound tracks odors on the ground

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 16:59
Bloodhounds are famous for their ability to track scents over great distances. Now researchers have developed a modern-day bloodhound -- a robot that can rapidly detect odors from sources on the ground, such as footprints. The robot could even read a message written on the ground using odors as a barcode.

Cooler computing through statistical physics?

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 16:59
Recent breakthroughs in nonequilibrium statistical physics have revealed opportunities to advance the 'thermodynamics of computation,' a field that could have far-reaching consequences for how we understand, and engineer, our computers.

Controlling robots with brainwaves and hand gestures

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 13:48
System enables people to correct robot mistakes on multi-choice problems.

Evaluation method for the impact of wind power fluctuation on power system quality

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 13:47
Abrupt changes of wind power generation output are a source of severe damage to power systems. Researchers have developed a stochastic modeling method that enables to evaluate the impact of such phenomena.

Chip upgrade helps bee-size drones navigate

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 03:08
The same researchers, who last year designed a tiny computer chip tailored to help honeybee-sized drones navigate, have now shrunk their chip design even further, in both size and power consumption.

Machine learning may be a game-changer for climate prediction

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 21:35
New research demonstrates that machine-learning techniques can be used to accurately represent clouds and their atmospheric heating and moistening, and better represent clouds in coarse resolution climate models, with the potential to narrow the range of climate prediction. This could be a major advance in accurate predictions of global warming in response to increased greenhouse gas concentrations that are essential for policy-makers (e.g. the Paris climate agreement).

Everything big data claims to know about you could be wrong

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 16:31
When it comes to understanding what makes people tick -- and get sick -- medical science has long assumed that the bigger the sample of human subjects, the better. But new research suggests this big-data approach may be wildly off the mark.

Warnings to texting pedestrians may not eliminate risks, but they can help

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 16:31
Human factors researchers have been looking at ways to harness technology to prevent fatalities among pedestrians who are struck by vehicles while texting. In their latest study, researchers simulated a busy roadway to determine whether sending loud warning sounds to cell phones when texting pedestrians attempted to cross an unsafe gap would result in safer crossing behavior.

Bad habits that lead to cancer, chronic disease corrected by simple lifestyle intervention

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 16:27
Four of the most common bad habits -- too much screen time, too little exercise and high fat and low fruit and vegetable intake -- can lead to heart disease and cancer, but a simple intervention using mobile health tools and coaching normalized these behaviors, and improvements were sustained.