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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: 14 min 42 sec ago

More precise estimate of Avogadro's number to help redefine kilogram

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 15:30
An ongoing international effort to redefine the kilogram by 2018 has been helped by recent efforts from a team researchers from Italy, Japan and Germany to correlate two of the most precise measurements of Avogadro's number and obtain one averaged value that can be used for future calculations.

Chicago's Metra rail commuters are glued to tech, but Wi-Fi and outlets are scarce

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 13:42
A new study finds Chicago's train stations lags in amenities that commuters demand, including a place to plug in your phone. Despite this, Metra rail ridership is up, and commuters' dependence on tech might be the cause.

Mathematical model gives fashion advice

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 12:30
Researchers have developed a mathematical model that is able to assess whether a person is fashionably dressed and to give advice on how to make the outfit more fashionable.

'Hop in the ocean' and swim with salmon

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 12:28
With the help of new 3-D technology, you can go underwater and swim with farmed salmon. Or fly down a ski jump. Or study how brain cells work. This technology originally came out of the gaming world, but is rapidly being developed into an important research tool.

Robotics and the law: When software can harm you

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 00:57
Twenty years in, the law is finally starting to get used to the Internet. Now it is imperative that the law figure out how to deal effectively with the rise of robotics and artificial intelligence, an expert says.

Better memory with faster lasers

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 20:14
By studying the effect of femtosecond laser pulses on the types of materials used to make DVDs, researchers made a discovery that could one day lead to better information storage in computers.

Lung simulation could improve respiratory treatment

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 20:14
The first computer model that predicts the flow of liquid medication in human lungs is providing new insight into the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Method to untangle, analyze 'controlled chaos' devised

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 18:36
A researcher has developed a new mathematical framework to more effectively analyze 'controlled chaos.' The new method could potentially be used to improve the resilience of complex critical systems, such as air traffic control networks and power grids, or slow the spread of threats across large networks, such as disease outbreaks.

Wireless data delivery over active TV channels tested

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 18:36
Engineers have demonstrated the first system that allows wireless data transmissions over UHF channels during active TV broadcasts.

Transistor built from a molecule and a few atoms

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 16:22
Physicists have used a scanning tunneling microscope to create a minute transistor consisting of a single molecule and a small number of atoms. The observed transistor action is markedly different from the conventionally expected behavior and could be important for future device technologies as well as for fundamental studies of electron transport in molecular nanostructures.

The quantum physics of artificial light harvesting

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 15:33
Plants and bacteria make use of sunlight with remarkably high efficiency: nine out of ten absorbed light particles are being put to use in an ordinary bacterium. For years, it has been a pressing question of modern research whether or not effects from quantum physics are responsible for this outstanding performance of natural light harvesters. Scientists have now examined these quantum effects in an artificial model system.

Troubleshooting the gene targeting process

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 15:32
Researchers have developed a new, straightforward software program for predicting the best RNAs to direct Cas9 to gene targets, eliminating trial-and-error process.

Cutting cost, power consumption for big data

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 15:04
A new system for several common big-data applications should make servers using flash memory as efficient as those using conventional RAM, while preserving their power and cost savings.

Mobile connectivity indoors has just got better

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 12:15
Researchers have invented the simplest solution available today to swiftly build a mobile wireless positioning system in a new indoor environment. Unlike other systems, it requires neither manual and costly offline pre-calibration nor any special hardware.

Graphene-based film can be used for efficient cooling of electronics

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 12:03
Researchers have developed a method for efficiently cooling electronics using graphene-based film. The film has a thermal conductivity capacity that is four times that of copper. Moreover, the graphene film is attachable to electronic components made of silicon, which favors the film's performance compared to typical graphene characteristics shown in previous, similar experiments.

New era in robotics: 3-D-printed robot is hard at heart, soft on the outside

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 18:51
Engineers have created the first robot with a 3-D-printed body that transitions from a rigid core to a soft exterior. The idea of blending soft and hard materials into the robot's body came from nature.The rigid layers make for a better interface with the device's electronic brains and power sources. The soft layers make it less vulnerable to damage when it lands after jumping.

Researchers call for support for data in the cloud to facilitate genomics research

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 17:27
Prominent researchers from Canada, Europe and the US have made a powerful call to major funding agencies, asking them to commit to establishing a global genomic data commons in the cloud that could be easily accessed by authorized researchers worldwide.

Violent video games provide quick stress relief, but at a price

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 17:26
While playing video games can improve mood, violent games may increase aggressive outcomes, a new study suggests. The participants included 82 undergraduate communication students. Most had little experience with violent video games.

Basic computing elements created in bacteria

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 17:24
Researchers unveil a series of sensors, memory switches, and circuits that can be encoded in the common human gut bacterium. These basic computing elements will allow the bacteria to sense, memorize, and respond to signals in the gut, with future applications that might include the early detection and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease or colon cancer, they say.

Why organizations fight data breaches differently

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 14:31
In the wake of recent high-profile security breaches at retail stores such as Target and Neiman Marcus, a new study determines why differences exist in the level of information security control resources among organizations.