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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 hours 3 min ago

Country's economy plays role in Internet file-sharing patterns

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 17:16
Peer-to-peer file sharing over the Internet is a popular alternative approach for people worldwide to get the digital content they want. But little is known about these users and systems because data is lacking. Now, in an unprecedented study of BitTorrent users, a research team has discovered two behavior patterns: most users are content specialists -- sharing music but not movies, for example; and users in countries with similar economies tend to download similar types of content.

Using autonomous vehicles to improve traffic flow

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 17:12
With autonomous vehicles entering our roadways as soon as with the next decade, researchers are developing strategies for the future use of autonomous vehicles in improving traffic flow.

Robotic surgery: More complications, higher expense for some conditions

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 16:19
For benign gynecologic conditions, robot-assisted surgery involves more complications during surgery and may be significantly more expensive than conventional laparoscopic surgery, according to a study.

Working memory hinders learning in schizophrenia

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 22:42
Trouble with working memory makes a distinct contribution to the difficulty people with schizophrenia sometimes have in learning, according to a new study. The researchers employed a specially designed experiment and computational models to distinguish the roles of working memory and reinforcement learning.

Bioinformatician helps biologists find key genes

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 22:42
It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. Scientists searching for the gene or gene combination that affects even one plant or animal characteristic must sort through massive amounts of data, according to a professor of the mathematics and statistics. He leads a bioinformatics research group, which provides the expertise that plant and animal scientists need to uncover how genes and proteins affect cell functions.

Equation helps assess blood flow to flaps for breast reconstruction

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 14:31
For women undergoing breast reconstruction using the advanced "DIEP" technique, a simple formula can reliably tell whether there will be sufficient blood flow to nourish the DIEP flap, reports a new paper.

Computers turned into powerful allies in fight against AIDS

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 13:23
The battle against AIDS cannot be won in the laboratory alone. To fight the potentially deadly virus that 34 million people are suffering from we need help from computers. Now research turns computers into powerful allies in the battle.

Private telephone conversations: Dynamic encryption keeps secrets

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 13:21
Scientists have invented a new way to encrypt telephone conversations that makes it very difficult to ‘eavesdrop’. The invention can help to curb industrial espionage.

Printing in the hobby room: Paper-thin and touch-sensitive displays on various materials

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 13:21
Until now, if you want to print a greeting card for a loved one, you can use colorful graphics, fancy typefaces or special paper to enhance it. But what if you could integrate paper-thin displays into the cards, which could be printed at home and which would be able to depict self-created symbols or even react to touch? Those only some of the options computer scientists can now offer. They have just developed an approach that in the future will enable laypeople to print displays in any desired shape on various materials and therefore could change everyday life completely.

Talking to your car is often distracting

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 13:16
Two new studies show that despite public belief to the contrary, hands-free, voice-controlled automobile infotainment systems can distract drivers, although it is possible to design them to be safer. Apple's Siri and Chevrolet's MyLink were most distracting, while Toyota's Entune was least distracting, the study showed.

The skin cancer selfie: Gigapixel camera helps diagnose early

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 15:41
Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer type in the US, and it's also the deadliest form of skin cancer. If caught early enough though, it is almost always curable. The gigapixel camera is essentially 34 microcameras in one and has a high enough resolution to zoom in to a tiny freckle making routine screenings available to a larger number of people at a fraction of the cost.

New theorem determines age distribution of populations from fruit flies to humans

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 15:41
The initial motivation of a new study was to estimate the age structure of a fruit fly population, the result a fundamental theorem that can help determine the age distribution of essentially any group. This emerging theorem on stationary populations shows that you can determine the age distribution of a population by looking at how long they still have to live.

Novel roadmap through bacterial genomes leads the way to new drug discovery

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 15:40
Researchers have innovated and demonstrated the value of an algorithm to analyze microbial genomic data and speed discovery of new therapeutic drugs.

Gaming vs. reading: Do they benefit teenagers with cognition or school performance?

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 13:44
Children have an increasing attraction towards electronic media in their play. With video games, phones and the internet in abundance, a new article examines if such leisure activity is impacting children’s cognition or academic performance or whether it would be more beneficial to read.

Online games and remote experiments could reduce scientific fraud, cherry-picking

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 12:53
One way to combat the rising level of errors and fraud in life sciences research is through massive online laboratories, which use videogames to engage large numbers of non-professional investigators and prevent scientists from manually testing their own hypotheses, researchers say.

New web privacy system could revolutionize the safety of Internet surfing

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 12:51
Researchers have built a new system that protects Internet users’ privacy whilst increasing the flexibility for web developers to build web applications that combine data from different web sites, dramatically improving the safety of surfing the web.

Pressing the accelerator on quantum robotics

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 12:51
Quantum computing will allow for the creation of powerful computers, but also much smarter and more creative robots than conventional ones. Scientists have now confirmed that quantum tools help robots learn and respond much faster to the stimuli around them. Quantum mechanics promises to revolutionize the world of communications and computers by introducing algorithms which are much quicker and more secure in transferring information.

Robotic solutions inspired by plants

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 12:51
Researchers are demonstrating revolutionary robotic techniques inspired by plants, featuring a 3D-printed ‘trunk’, ‘leaves’ that sense the environment and ‘roots’ that grow and change direction.

Engineers use 3-D gaming gear to give eye-opening look at cells in action

Sat, 10/04/2014 - 01:43
For hundreds of years biologists have studied cells through the lens of a microscope. With a little help from a team of engineers, these scientists could soon be donning 3-D glasses in a home-theater-like lab to take their own fantastic voyage into the petri dish.

Pain words stand out more for those experiencing it

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 17:57
Ache, agony, distress and pain draw more attention than non-pain related words when it comes to people who suffer from chronic pain, a research using state-of-the-art eye-tracking technology has found.