Mathematics and Computer Science at The University of Virginia's College at Wise
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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: 12 min 26 sec ago

Single molecules can work as reproducible transistors -- at room temperature

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 16:09
Researchers have now reproducibly demonstrated current blockade -- the ability to switch a device from the insulating to the conducting state where charge is added and removed one electron at a time -- using atomically precise molecular clusters at room temperature. The study shows that single molecules can function as reproducible circuit elements such as transistors or diodes that can easily operate at room temperature.

Exotic quantum states made from light

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 16:09
Physicists have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers.

Automated fingerprint analysis is one step closer to reality

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 16:09
The first big case involving fingerprint evidence in the United States was the murder trial of Thomas Jennings in Chicago in 1911. Jennings had broken into a home in the middle of the night and, when discovered by the homeowner, shot the man dead. He was convicted based on fingerprints left at the crime scene, and for most of the next century, fingerprints were considered, both in the courts and in the public imagination, to be all but infallible as a method of identification.

Are your tweets feeling well?

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 13:29
A study finds opinion and emotion in tweets change when you get sick, a method that public health workers could use to monitor health trends.

On the darknet, drug buyers aren't looking for bargains

Sat, 08/12/2017 - 20:01
When drug users go online for the first time to buy opioids, they aren't looking for the widest selection or the best prices for their illicit purchases, a new study suggests. Researchers found that first-time drug buyers who visited one marketplace on the 'darknet' cared only about finding trustworthy sellers -- those who would deliver what they promised and keep the buyers' identities secret.

Massive particles test standard quantum theory

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 18:11
In quantum mechanics particles can behave as waves and take many paths through an experiment. It requires only combinations of pairs of paths, rather than three or more, to determine the probability for a particle to arrive somewhere. Researchers have addressed this question for the first time explicitly using the wave interference of large molecules behind various combinations of single, double, and triple slits.

Machine learning helps spot counterfeit consumer products

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 16:48
A team of researchers has developed a new mechanism that uses machine-learning algorithms to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit versions of the same product.

Night vision for bird- and bat-friendly offshore wind power

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 14:20
ThermalTracker software analyzes video with night vision, the same technology that helps soldiers see in the dark, to help birds and bats near offshore wind turbines.

Novel software can recognize eye contact in everyday situations

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 13:37
Human eye contact is an important information source. Nonetheless, so far, possibilities to recognize eye contact in everyday situations have been very limited. Computer scientists have now developed a method by the aid of which it is possible to detect eye contact, independent of the type and size of the target object, the position of the camera, or the environment.

How secure are your messages?

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 21:33
Researchers have learned that most users of popular messaging apps are leaving themselves exposed to hacking and fraud because they aren't using important security options.

AI, crowdsourcing combine to close 'analogy gap'

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 18:57
Researchers have devised a method enabling computers to mine databases of patents, inventions and research papers, identifying ideas that can be repurposed to solve new problems or create new products.

Political party influences lawmakers' tweets more than gender

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 17:04
Politicians are often expected to have expertise in certain areas, based on their gender. A researcher looked at whether US representatives' tweets support this stereotype. She found that political party plays more of a role than gender in lawmakers' Twitter habits.

Mapping the brain, neuron by neuron

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 14:49
A mathematician and computer scientist joined an international team of neuroscientists to create a complete map of the learning and memory center of the fruit fly larva brain, an early step toward mapping how all animal brains work.

Surprise discovery in the search for energy efficient information storage

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 14:49
Today almost all information stored on hard disc drives or cloud servers is recorded in magnetic media, because it is non-volatile and cheap. For portable devices such as mobile phones and tablets, other forms of non-magnetic memory are used because the technology based on magnetism is impractical and is not energy efficient.

DNA sequencing tools lack robust protections against cybersecurity risks

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 14:49
A new study analyzing the security hygiene of common, open-source DNA processing programs finds evidence of poor computer security practices used throughout the field. In a scientific first, the team also demonstrated it is possible to compromise a computer system with a malicious computer code stored in synthetic DNA.

First data transmission through terahertz multiplexer: 100 times faster than today's best

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 14:49
Researchers have demonstrated the transmission of two separate video signals through a terahertz multiplexer at a data rate more than 100 times faster than today's fastest cellular data networks.

USB connections make snooping easy

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 14:48
USB connections, the most common interface used globally to connect external devices to computers, are vulnerable to information 'leakage,' making them even less secure than has been thought, research has shown.

The importance of influencers on social media

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 14:48
Tracking the Twitter updates of a random sample of 300,000 active users over the course of a month reveals that this particular corner of social media and social networking is not quite as equitable and democratic as popular perception might have us believe. Indeed, the research reveals that there is a two-step flow of information through which a minority of users accounts for the majority of influence.

Drone tech offers new ways to manage climate change

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 12:24
An innovation providing key clues to how humans might manage forests and cities to cool the planet is taking flight. Researchers are using drone technology to more accurately measure surface reflectivity on the landscape, a technological advance that could offer a new way to manage climate change.

New analysis casts doubt on predicted decrease in Oklahoma earthquakes

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 19:18
Wastewater injection rates in Oklahoma have declined recently because of regulatory actions and market forces, but seismologists say that has not yet significantly reduced the risk of potentially damaging earthquakes.