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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: 26 min 35 sec ago

New internet routing method allows users to avoid sending data through undesired countries

Wed, 08/19/2015 - 12:34
Computer scientists have developed a method for providing concrete proof to Internet users that their information did not cross through specified, undesired geographic areas. Called Alibi Routing, the system is immediately deployable and does not require knowledge of -- or modifications to -- the Internet's routing hardware or policies.

Harnessing the butterfly effect

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 19:38
New research shows how to directly harness the atmosphere's elephantine memory to produce temperature forecasts that are somewhat more accurate than conventional numerical computer models. This new method shows that the so-called pause in global warming since 1998 can be well explained with the help of historical atmospheric data.

Setting ground rules for nanotechnology research

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 19:35
In two new studies, researchers from across the United States have begun to design the framework on which to build the emerging field of nanoinformatics -- the combination of nanoscale research and informatics.

Cell phones help keep track of flu on campus

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 18:24
Personal health and lifestyle data captured through smartphone apps can help identify college students at risk of catching the flu. With help from a mobile app that monitors who students interact with and when, researchers have developed a model that enables them to predict the spread of influenza infections. Unlike most models, their approach gives a personalized daily forecast for each patient.

Viral comparisons

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 15:27
A team of comparative genomics and computational science researchers compared approximately 4,000 complete virus genomes downloaded from a public database known as GenBank. By compressing the sequence files, the team created a virus dendrogram that maps out the relationships among all the different virus families.

Securing data from tomorrow's supercomputers

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 14:29
For the powerful quantum computers that will be developed in the future, cracking online bank account details and credit cards number will be a synch. But a team of cryptographers is already working at future-proofing the privacy of today's Internet communications from tomorrow's powerful computers.

A brain-computer interface for controlling an exoskeleton

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 02:02
Scientists have developed a brain-computer control interface for a lower limb exoskeleton by decoding specific signals from within the user's brain.

Instantaneous motion for new soft robots

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 20:06
Soft machines and robots are capable of moving, jumping and gripping objects thanks to soft, inflatable segments called fluidic actuators. These actuators require large amounts of air or water to change shape, making the machines slow, bulky and difficult to untether but researchers have engineered a new, soft actuator that harnesses the power of instability to trigger instantaneous movement.

Return on investment slipping in biomedical research

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 20:06
As more money has been spent on biomedical research in the United States over the past 50 years, there has been diminished return on investment in terms of life expectancy gains and new drug approvals, researchers say.

Sensor mimics bats to detect dangerous structural cracks

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 13:00
An ultrasound sensor for detecting dangerous cracks in structures such as aircraft engines, oil and gas pipelines and nuclear plants has been developed – with inspiration from the natural world.

New Internet technology could aid police, courts and prisons

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 12:54
Technology that can improve criminal databases, remotely conducted criminal trials and help police officers stop autonomous cars can all aid the criminal justice system in the future. But a key to making full use of such emerging Internet-based tools will be resolving civil rights, privacy rights and cybersecurity issues.

A thin ribbon of flexible electronics can monitor health, infrastructure

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 12:54
A new world of flexible, bendable, even stretchable electronics is emerging from research labs to address a wide range of potentially game-changing uses. Over the last few years, one team of chemists and materials scientists has begun exploring military applications in harsh environments for aircraft, explosive devices and even combatants themselves.

How to preserve fleeting digital information with DNA for future generations

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 12:54
Hand-written letters and old photos seem quaint in today's digital age. But there's one thing traditional media have over hard drives: longevity. Scientists are turning to nature's master of information storage to save data. One team demonstrated that synthetic DNA can last 2,000 years, and they're now working to index the system to make it easier to navigate.

Programming and prejudice: Computer scientists discover how to find bias in algorithms

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 23:31
Software may appear to operate without bias because it strictly uses computer code to reach conclusions. But a team of computer scientists has discovered a way to find out if an algorithm used for hiring decisions, loan approvals and comparably weighty tasks could be biased like a human being.

European consortium develops new approaches for dealing with Big Data

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 11:57
Big Data is a major factor driving knowledge discovery and innovation in our information society. However, large amounts of data can only be used efficiently if algorithms for understanding the data are available and if these algorithms can also be appropriately applied in highly scalable systems with thousands of hard drives. Big Data thus presents complex challenges for software developers, as the necessary algorithms can only be created with the aid of specialist skills in a wide range of different fields, such as statistics, machine learning, visualization, databases, and high-performance computing.

Mobile technology may help people improve health behaviors

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 21:12
Smart phone apps and wearable sensors are promising for improving cardiovascular health behaviors, preliminary data suggest. Self-monitoring is a key facet of changing behavior to prevent and manage heart health. Smartphone apps and wearable sensors have the potential to encourage positive change.

Link confirmed between playing violent video games, aggression

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 20:23
Violent video game play is linked to increased aggression in players but insufficient evidence exists about whether the link extends to criminal violence or delinquency, according to a new report.

Helping Siri hear through a cocktail party

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 19:03
People trying to talk to Siri may soon no longer have to look like they're about to eat their iPhones, thanks to a new technology demonstration that solves the 'Cocktail Party' conundrum. The new approach uses metamaterials and compressive sensing to determine the direction of a sound and extract it from the surrounding background noise.

New optical chip lights up the race for quantum computer

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 18:27
The microprocessor inside a computer is a single multipurpose chip that has revolutionized people's life, allowing them to use one machine to surf the web, check emails and keep track of finances. Now, researchers have pulled off the same feat for light in the quantum world by developing an optical chip that can process photons in an infinite number of ways.

Future electronics: Black phosphorus surges ahead of graphene

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 18:25
Scientists reported a tunable band gap in BP, effectively modifying the semiconducting material into a unique state of matter with anisotropic dispersion. This research outcome potentially allows for great flexibility in the design and optimization of electronic and optoelectronic devices like solar panels and telecommunication lasers.