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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.