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: 22 hours 49 min ago

How the Internet is transforming our experience of being ill

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 14:39
The last decade has seen a remarkable shift in how people use the internet in relation to their health and it is now talked of as a routine feature of being ill. This study examined interviews with patients conducted between 2001 and 2013 and explored how people talked about the internet, capturing changing attitudes towards the use of the internet for health across the last decade.

Three out of every four European banks fails in handicap accessibility of their websites

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 14:37
Researchers have analyzed the websites of nearly 50 banks from the EU to check whether any user, even if disabled, has equal access. The results show that this right is not fulfilled in 74 percent of cases, and therefore they demand greater interest from financial entities in this technological and social problem.

New research could help make 'roll-up' digital screens a reality for all

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 14:36
New technology could make flexible electronics such as roll-up tablet computers, widely available in the near future. So far, this area of electronic design has been hampered by unreliability and complexity of production.

New robotic refueling technologies tested

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 00:17
NASA has successfully concluded a remotely controlled test of new technologies that would empower future space robots to transfer hazardous oxidizer -- a type of propellant -- into the tanks of satellites in space today.

First step towards 'programmable materials': Sheet metal that never rattles

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 18:24
Researchers have succeeded in producing a prototype of a vibration-damping material that could change the world of mechanics forever. The material of the future is not only able to damp vibrations completely. It can also specifically conduct certain frequencies further.

Ultra sensitive detection of radio waves with lasers

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 18:23
Radio waves are used for many measurements and applications, for example, in communication with mobile phones, MRI scans, scientific experiments and cosmic observations. But 'noise' in the detector of the measuring instrument limits how sensitive and precise the measurements can be. Now researchers have developed a new method where they can avoid noise by means of laser light and can therefore achieve extreme precision of measurements.

Seeking quantum-ness: D-Wave chip passes rigorous tests

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 17:53
D-Wave quantum processor passes tests indicating that it uses special laws of quantum mechanics to operate. A key task for researchers has been to determine whether D-Wave processors operate as hoped -- using the special laws of quantum mechanics to offer potentially higher-speed processing, instead of operating in a classical, traditional way.

Save money and the planet: Turn your old milk jugs into 3-D printer filament

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 17:52
Making your own stuff with a 3-D printer is vastly cheaper than what you'd pay for manufactured goods, even factoring in the cost of buying the plastic filament. Yet, you can drive the cost down even more by making your own filament from old milk jugs. And, while you are patting yourself on the back for saving 99 cents on the dollar, there's a bonus: you can feel warm and fuzzy about preserving the environment. Making your own plastic 3-D printer filament from milk jugs uses less energy -- often a lot less -- than recycling milk jugs conventionally.

When disaster strikes: Safeguarding networks

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 17:51
Disasters both natural and human-caused can damage or destroy data and communications networks. New information on strategies that can mitigate the impacts of these disasters.

Platform would protect smartphones from cyber criminals

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 17:51
Criminals don't have to pick your pocket to get what they want out of your mobile. But a certifiably secure operating platform is being developed by researchers so that consumers can be confident that their mobile data is safe.

The birds and the bees of proteins

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 15:59
A split-second snapshot of an early stage of protein formation could someday lead to more effective antibiotics. Proteins are the worker bees of cells. They get rid of waste, transmit cellular signals and carry out the chemical reactions that enable the human body to function. Without proteins, cells would be unable to function, replicate, and die. Viruses, bacteria and cancer cells also need proteins to reproduce. Using computer modelling, researchers examined the role of one specific protein, and its ultimate effect on health.

Copied from nature: Detecting software errors via genetic algorithms

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 13:48
Software developers are spending about the half of their time detecting errors and resolving them. Projected onto the global software industry, this would amount to a bill of about 312 billion US dollars every year. Researchers are now automating the process.

Computer reads text written in the air and other innovations

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 13:46
In the future, computers and humans will cooperate more seamlessly: perhaps by easier access to data or by the intuitive control of programs and robots. Conference exhibits along this line include gesture-controlled communication, firewalls to data management and computer-supported surgery.

Security tools for Industry 4.0

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 13:46
An increasing number of unsecured, computer-guided production machinery and networks in production facilities are gradually evolving into gateways for data theft. New security technologies may directly shield the sensitive data that is kept there.

Drug war violence in Mexico connected with desensitization in social media

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 20:45
Amid times of crisis, citizens often turn to social media as a method to share information, make observations and vent. But as a professor’s research into social media use amid the Mexican drug war shows, posts can reveal growing numbness, or desensitization, during times of protracted violence and stress.

New technique targets C code to spot, contain malware attacks

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 19:18
Researchers have developed a new tool to detect and contain malware that attempts root exploits in Android devices. The tool improves on previous techniques by targeting code written in the C programming language -- which is often used to create root exploit malware, whereas the bulk of Android applications are written in Java.

Novel quantum dot laser paves the way for lower-cost photonics

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 18:00
With the explosive growth of bandwidth demand in telecommunications networks, experts are continually seeking new ways to transmit increasingly large amounts of data in the quickest and cheapest ways possible. Photonic devices -- which convert light to electricity and vice versa -- offer an energy-efficient alternative to traditional copper network links for information transmission. Unfortunately, these devices are also almost always prohibitively pricey.

How social media shaped the 'drug war' in Mexico

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 18:00
Over the past decade, increased access to the Internet, cellphones and other digital media has drastically changed the landscape of the so-called 'drug war' in Mexico. A new article examines how both sides of the drug war -- the cartel operatives as well as government and security forces -- have used and responded to digital and social media.

Research benefits surgeons making decisions on how to help their patients breathe easier

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 17:59
Computer simulations have been developed for aircraft design to improve treatment of human airways. Computational Fluid Dynamics, or CFD, uses computer algorithms to solve the flow of air or fluids for various applications. These algorithms are typically applied toward the design of aircraft. While designing an aircraft, CFD is often considered both an accurate and less expensive approach before investing in building models and testing in air tunnels. But over the past decade or so, the application of CFD to biological flows to study medically-related problems, including respiratory disorders has gained a great deal of interest. The computer simulations traditionally used for aircraft design found use in treating health conditions such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, sleep apnea and snoring.

Physics in 3-D? That's nothing: Try 0-D

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 17:58
Zero-dimensional quantum dots could someday have a big effect on a variety of technologies, such as solar energy, lasers and medical diagnostics. This latest discovery is all about going small, but its significance is anything but. The research team's ability to control the confinement energy by varying the size of the quantum dot opens up a world of possibilities.