Mathematics and Computer Science at The University of Virginia's College at Wise
Syndicate content Computers & Math News -- ScienceDaily
Hacking and computer security. Read today's research news on hacking and protecting against codebreakers. New software, secure data sharing, and more.
Updated: 14 hours 28 min ago

Crucial security problem in Google Play: Thousands of secret keys found in android apps

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 20:39
Researchers have discovered a crucial security problem in Google Play, the official Android app store. The study is the first to make a large-scale measurement of the huge marketplace, using PlayDrone, a tool they developed to circumvent Google security to successfully download Google Play apps and recover their sources.

Familiar yet strange: Water's 'split personality' revealed by computer model

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 18:00
Using computer models, researchers found that as water freezes it takes on a sort of split personality wherein, at very cold temperatures and above a certain pressure, it may spontaneously split into two liquid forms. Finding this dual nature could lead to a better understanding of how water behaves in high-altitude clouds, which could improve the predictive ability of current weather and climate models.

When it comes to numbers, culture counts

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 17:20
A new study finds that in a Bolivian rainforest society, children learn to count just like in the United States, but on a delayed timetable.

Modeling how neurons work together may help design robotic limbs

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 17:20
A highly accurate model of how neurons behave when performing complex movements could aid in the design of robotic limbs which behave more realistically. While an action such as reaching for a cup of coffee may seem straightforward, the millions of neurons in the brain's motor cortex must work together to prepare and execute the movement before the coffee ever reaches our lips. These signals are transmitted across synapses -- the junctions between neurons.

Sexting among youth more prevalent than thought? Minors unaware of harsh legal consequences, survey shows

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 16:22
Sexting among youth is more prevalent than previously thought, according to a new study. More than 50 percent of those surveyed reported that they had exchanged sexually explicit text messages, with or without photographic images, as minors. The study also found that the majority of young people are not aware of the legal ramifications of underage sexting.

Breakthrough provides picture of underground water

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 14:06
Scientists demonstrate that satellite-collected data can accurately measure aquifer levels, a finding with potentially huge implications for management of precious global water sources. Superman isn't the only one who can see through solid surfaces. In a development that could revolutionize the management of precious groundwater around the world, researchers have pioneered the use of satellites to accurately measure levels of water stored hundreds of feet below ground.

Safety system for city, school buses will avoid accidents around bus stops

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 14:05
A new safety system for city and school buses that detects the presence of pedestrians in the surroundings of the bus stop, warns the driver of dangerous conditions and, ultimately, directly affects the vehicle, has been developed by researchers. The system incorporates different cameras placed at strategic points of the bus that allow the driver to see where the rear-view mirrors can't.

New quantum mechanism to trigger the emission of tunable light at terahertz frequencies

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 14:05
Scientists have found that two-dimensional (2-D) nanostructures with asymmetric design enable a new quantum mechanism, triggering the emission of tunable light at terahertz frequencies-with unprecedented efficiency. The researchers found that quantum wells, 2-D nanostructures formed of several layers of semi-conductor alloys placed on top of each other like a sandwich, can enhance light emission in a technological challenging spectral range.

Shortage of cybersecurity professionals poses risk to U.S. national security

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 11:20
The nationwide shortage of cybersecurity professionals -- particularly for positions within the federal government -- creates risks for national and homeland security, according to a new study. Demand for trained cybersecurity professionals who work to protect organizations from cybercrime is high nationwide, but the shortage is particularly severe in the federal government, which does not offer salaries as high as the private sector.

New printing method for mass production of thin film transistors

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 11:17
Scientists have developed a method for the manufacture of thin film transistors using a roll-to-roll technique only. Thin film transistors can now be manufactured using roll-to-roll techniques, such as printing, for the deposition of patterns on the substrate layer of film. This is set to expand the range of electronic components and products, while slashing their production costs.

Move over, silicon, there's a new circuit in town

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 20:43
When it comes to electronics, silicon will now have to share the spotlight. Scientists have now overcome a major issue in carbon nanotube technology by developing a flexible, energy-efficient hybrid circuit combining carbon nanotube thin film transistors with other thin film transistors. This hybrid could take the place of silicon as the traditional transistor material used in electronic chips, since carbon nanotubes are more transparent, flexible, and can be processed at a lower cost.

Technique matters: Anonymous peer feedback through social networking helped surgical residents improve their robotic surgery skills

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 20:42
Surgical residents who received anonymous feedback from their peers through a social networking site on their robotic surgery skills improved more than those who did not receive any peer feedback on their procedures, researchers found.

Crowdsourcing the phase problem

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 15:22
Compared with humans, computers have the capacity to solve problems at much greater speed. There are many problems, however, where computational speed alone is insufficient to find a correct or optimal solution.

Surfing the Web in class? Bad idea

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 15:22
Even the smartest college students suffer academically when they use the Internet in class for non-academic purposes, finds new research. All students, regardless of intellectual ability, had lower exam scores the more they used the Internet for non-academic purposes such as reading the news, sending emails and posting Facebook updates, researcher report.

Ultra-thin wires for quantum computing

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 15:18
Take a fine strand of silica fiber, attach it at each end to a slow-turning motor, torture it over a flame until it nearly reaches its melting point and then pull it apart. The middle will thin out like taffy until it is less than half a micron across, and that, according to researchers, is how you fabricate ultrahigh transmission optical nanofibers, a potential component for future quantum information devices.

Strange physics turns off laser

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 14:29
Inspired by anomalies that arise in certain mathematical equations, researchers have demonstrated a laser system that paradoxically turns off when more power is added rather than becoming continuously brighter. The findings could lead to new ways to manipulate the interaction of electronics and light, an important tool in modern communications networks and high-speed information processing.

References resources find their place among open access and Google, study finds

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 13:38
How do open access sources, tightened budgets, and competition from popular technologies affect how librarians perceive and employ reference resources? How do librarians expect to utilize reference in the future? A new article finds that though the definition of reference is changing, this is in part because reference resources now look and feel like other information sources and because other information resources perform the traditional purpose of reference -- answering research questions.

With light echoes, the invisible becomes visible

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 13:32
Scientists have developed a novel camera system which can see around the corner without using a mirror. Using diffusely reflected light, it reconstructs the shape of objects outside of the field of view. A laser shines on the wall; a camera watches the scene. Nothing more than white ingrain wallpaper with a bright spot of light can be seen through the lens. A computer records these initially unremarkable images and as the data is processed further, little by little, the outlines of an object appear on a screen.

Even more hooked on social media: Norwegians intend to continue relationship with Facebook, other media

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 13:29
Although Norwegians are not very satisfied with the services, more and more will continue to use Facebook and other social media. A new study analyzes the country's relationship with Facebook, Twitter and other outlets.

E-cigs heavily marketed on Twitter, study finds

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 13:20
One third of commercial tweets offer coupons or discounts to purchase electronic-cigarette (e-cigs) products, a study has found. While advertising for conventional cigarettes has long been prohibited, e-cigarettes are advertised routinely in traditional media (print, television and radio) and social media. The researchers collected tweets and metadata related to e-cigarettes during a two month period in 2012. Using novel statistical methodology and carefully chosen keywords, they captured more than 70,000 tweets related to e-cigs.