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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: 20 min 39 sec ago

'Virtual physiotherapist' helps paralyzed patients exercise using computer games

Wed, 10/05/2016 - 18:08
A simple device can improve the ability of patients with arm disability to play physiotherapy-like computer games, according to new research. 

3-D-printed robots with shock-absorbing skins

Wed, 10/05/2016 - 17:07
Anyone who's watched drone videos or an episode of "BattleBots" knows that robots can break -- and often it's because they don't have the proper padding to protect themselves.

Your next nurse could be a robot

Wed, 10/05/2016 - 15:50
The nursing assistant for your next trip to the hospital might be a robot.

Electrons in graphene behave like light, only better

Wed, 10/05/2016 - 14:05
Electrical and computer engineers have directly observed -- for the first time -- negative refraction for electrons passing across a boundary between two regions in a conducting material. First predicted in 2007, this effect has been difficult to confirm experimentally. The researchers were able to observe the effect in graphene, demonstrating that electrons in the atomically thin material behave like light rays, which can be manipulated by such optical devices as lenses and prisms. The findings could lead to the development of new types of electron switches, based on the principles of optics rather than electronics.

'Atomic sandwiches' could make computers 100X greener

Tue, 10/04/2016 - 17:48
Researchers have engineered a material that could lead to a new generation of computing devices, packing in more computing power while consuming a fraction of the energy that today's electronics require.

Study solves 50-year-old puzzle tied to enigmatic, lone wolf waves

Tue, 10/04/2016 - 15:17
Solitary waves called solitons are one of nature’s great curiosities. In a new paper, a team of mathematicians, physicists and engineers tackles a famous, 50-year-old problem tied to these enigmatic entities.

Omnidirectional mobile robot has just two moving parts

Tue, 10/04/2016 - 15:07
More than a decade ago, Ralph Hollis invented the ballbot, an elegantly simple robot whose tall, thin body glides atop a sphere slightly smaller than a bowling ball. The latest version, called SIMbot, has an equally elegant motor with just one moving part: the ball.

Microswimmers can be propelled and steered by light

Tue, 10/04/2016 - 14:50
Phototactic behavior directs some bacteria towards light and others into darkness: This enables them to utilize solar energy as efficiently as possible for their metabolism, or, otherwise, protects them from excessive light intensity. A team of researchers have now found a surprisingly simple way to direct synthetic microswimmers towards light or darkness. Their findings could eventually lead to minuscule robots that seek out and treat lesions in the human body.

Turning to the brain to reboot computing

Tue, 10/04/2016 - 14:45
Computation is stuck in a rut. The integrated circuits that powered the past 50 years of technological revolution are reaching their physical limits. This predicament has computer scientists scrambling for new ideas: new devices built using novel physics, new ways of organizing units within computers and even algorithms that use new or existing systems more efficiently.

Beautiful house from Pompeii reconstructed with 3D technology

Tue, 10/04/2016 - 14:33
By combining traditional archaeology with 3D technology, researchers have managed to reconstruct a house in Pompeii to its original state before the volcano eruption of Mount Vesuvius thousands of years ago. Unique video material has now been produced, showing their creation of a 3D model of an entire block of houses.

Breakthrough in analytical sciences could lead to medical revolution

Tue, 10/04/2016 - 13:03
Pharmaceutical research could be quicker and more precise, thanks to an innovative breakthrough in the analytical sciences.

Help for fishing vessels to locate their catch

Tue, 10/04/2016 - 12:53
Big Data means that professional fishermen will soon be getting their own decision-making tool. It will tell them where fish shoals are located, and how their vessels can be operated as economically as possible, report researchers.

Key component for wireless communication with terahertz frequencies

Tue, 10/04/2016 - 12:53
An ultrahigh speed, wireless communication network using THz instead of GHz frequencies is now one step closer. Researchers have shown that it is possible to effectively transmit signal waves with THz frequencies through the existing fiber optic network.

English shoppers ditch the carrier bag

Mon, 10/03/2016 - 22:33
Around 90% of people in England now take their own bags with them when food shopping as a result of the plastic carrier bag charge, new research has revealed. This has increased from 70% before the charge was introduced and was independent of age, gender or income.

Gone phishin': How our ability to spot phishing emails is far from perfect

Mon, 10/03/2016 - 18:32
Each year, tens of millions of phishing emails make it to your inbox, uncaught by your email client's spam filter. Of those, millions more slide past our own judgment and are clicked and opened. A recent study has revealed just how likely we are to take the bait.

Brain waves can be used to detect potentially harmful personal information

Mon, 10/03/2016 - 17:09
A researcher is working to advance research to develop secure user authentication methods, by looking at using brain waves as individual identifiers. However, those brain waves can tell more about a person than just his or her identity, warns this expert.

Solution for secure processing of patient data revealed

Fri, 09/30/2016 - 12:06
Large-scale research involving patient data can be done without threat to either the security of the information or the privacy of the patients, thanks to a newly revealed technique. This technique will be used for a new, large-scale study of Parkinson’s disease.

New devices emulate human biological synapses

Thu, 09/29/2016 - 17:54
A new type of nanodevice for computer microprocessors is being developed that can mimic the functioning of a biological synapse -- the place where a signal passes from one nerve cell to another in the body, report scientists.

Identifying children and saving lives one thumbprint at a time

Thu, 09/29/2016 - 15:17
Digital scans of a young child's fingerprints can be correctly identified one year later, a first-of-its-kind study demonstrates. A child could be identified by a simple fingerprint scan at each medical visit, allowing them to get proper medical care such as life-saving vaccinations or food supplements, say authors of a new report.

Older adults no slower than young adults at taking control of semi-autonomous vehicles

Thu, 09/29/2016 - 13:28
Older adults have comparable response times to young adults when tasked with taking control of a semi-autonomous vehicle, new research shows.