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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: 11 hours 49 min ago

Augmented reality: Bringing history and the future to life

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:14
Have you ever wished you had a virtual time machine that could show you how your street looked last century? Or have you wanted to see how your new furniture might look, before you’ve even bought it? Thanks to new research you can now do just that.

Computer software analyzing facial expressions accurately predicts student test performance

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:13
Real-time engagement detection technology that processes facial expressions can perform with accuracy comparable to that of human observers, according to new research. The study used automatic expression recognition technology to analyze students' facial expressions on a frame-by-frame basis and estimate their engagement level. The study also revealed that engagement levels were a better predictor of students' post-test performance than the students' pre-test scores.

Net neutrality balancing act

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:05
Researchers have demonstrated that net neutrality benefits content creator and consumers without compromising provider innovation nor profits. There is a war raging online between those who wish to modulate, control and throttle the flow of information, usually the internet service providers and content creators and consumers who seek neutrality. Net neutrality is the principle on which open democracy and social benefits of the communication age can best be played out, the latter two parties argue. Governments and regulatory authorities must guarantee net neutrality in other words.

Potential use of Google Glass in surgical settings

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:04
A new article shows the potential applications for Google Glass in the surgical setting, particularly in relation to training. Personal portable information technology is advancing at a breathtaking speed. Google has recently introduced Glass, a device that is worn like conventional glasses, but that combines a computerized central processing unit, touchpad, display screen, high-definition camera, microphone, bone-conduction transducer, and wireless connectivity.

Earthquake simulation tops one petaflop mark

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 17:39
Computer scientists, mathematicians and geophysicists have optimized the SeisSol earthquake simulation software on the SuperMUC high performance computer to push its performance beyond the 'magical' one petaflops mark -- one quadrillion floating point operations per second.

Lens turns any smartphone into a portable microscope

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 17:38
The Micro Phone Lens can turn any smartphone or tablet computer into a hand-held microscope. The soft, pliable lens sticks to a device's camera without any adhesive or glue and makes it possible to see things magnified dozens of times on the screen.

Computerized counseling reduces HIV-1 viral load, sexual transmission risk

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 16:55
Computerized counseling is a promising intervention for increased ART adherence and safer sex, especially for individuals with problems in these areas. This is the first intervention to report improved ART adherence, viral suppression, and reduced secondary sexual transmission risk behavior.

Flaw in 'secure' cloud storage could put privacy at risk

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 16:52
Computer scientists have found a flaw in the way that secure cloud storage companies protect their customers’ data. The scientists say this weakness jeopardizes the privacy protection these digital warehouses claim to offer. Whenever customers share their confidential files with a trusted friend or colleague, the researchers say, the storage provider could exploit the security flaw to secretly view this private data.

Researchers help Boston Marathon organizers plan for 2014 race

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 15:24
After experiencing a tragic and truncated end to the 2013 Boston Marathon, race organizers were faced not only with grief but with hundreds of administrative decisions, including plans for the 2014 race -- an event beloved by Bostonians and people around the world.

Mobile robots support airplane manufacturers

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 13:41
The robots move at walking speed along airplane components; in doing so, it applies a sealant against corrosion in equal measure. The mobile assistant is surrounded by technical workers who install, drill, and test. Admittedly this scenario is still a glimpse of the future – but in just a few years, it should be reality for the aerospace manufacturing industry.

Wire inspection: As fast as a world-class sprinter

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 12:44
Pipes, rails, and wires are manufactured at high speeds. A new optical inspection system reviews the workpieces at 10 meters a second and finds defects in real time that can be as narrow as a single hair.

Intelligent prosthetic liners could ease pain for lower limb amputees

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 12:41
A new device could help to relieve the pain and discomfort experienced by thousands of amputees as a result of poorly fitting replacement lower limbs. Researchers are developing a prototype of the world's first prosthetic 'intelligent' liner with integrated pressure sensors, which could be available in as little as three years. The sensors for the device measure the pressure and pulling forces at the interface between a patient's stump and socket of their prosthesis. In excess these pressures in excess can cause tissue damage, leading to painful sores.

Futuristic robots allow doctors to examine patients from anywhere

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 21:21
A fleet of telemedicine robots to improve efficiency and patient care is being deployed to physicians, who will use them to examine patients remotely. Using a laptop, tablet or smartphone, doctors are now able to interact and perform their jobs in ways not previously possible. They can see, hear, be heard and move around in any remote facility, including being able to visually examine patients without being physically present.

New Fusion Technology Increases Prostate Cancer Detection Accuracy to 97 Percent

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 20:08
A powerful new tool for visualizing and monitoring the prostate in men who have high prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels and in detecting prostate cancer more accurately is now available in some American hospitals. The new technology combines or “fuses” magnetic resonance (MR) and ultrasound images uses electromagnetic tracking/guidance, similar to your car’s GPS system. A tiny tracking sensor is attached to an ultrasound probe and generates a small, localized electromagnetic field that helps determine the location and orientation of the biopsy device.

Cybersecurity researchers roll out a new heartbleed solution: Red Herring creates decoy servers, entraps, monitors hackers

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 19:06
As companies scrambled in recent days to address the latest cybersecurity bug known as Heartbleed, researchers demonstrate a solution that fixes the vulnerability, and also detects and entraps hackers who might be using it to steal sensitive data.

Website information on colon cancer too complex, fails to address key concerns, researcher finds

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 18:07
Popular web information on colorectal cancer is too difficult for most lay people to read and doesn’t address the appropriate risks to and concerns of patients, a study by a gastroenterologists suggests. The study is the first to analyze the appropriateness of internet-based materials in terms of health literacy. "Internet information is best used as a supplement. With colon cancer screening, there are many options and each has its risks and benefits. An actual discussion with a physician would help patients choose the best option," the researcher notes.

Telemedicine training for rural parents of children with autism

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 17:40
An effective distance parent training program has been developed to address critical shortage of ABA-trained professionals in rural communities. Through this program, parents increased their knowledge of ABA strategies and concepts by an average of 39 percentage points and improved their implementation of these strategies with their children by an average of 41 percentage points, said one author, who employs technology to help make evidence-based practices accessible to rural and underserved populations.

Surgeons develop personalized 3-D printed kidney to simulate surgery prior to cancer operation

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 14:08
For the first time, surgeons have used 3-D printing to produce exact models of tumor-containing kidneys, allowing them to simulate surgery prior to the real operation. These models can be personalized to each patient, giving doctors a 3-D model of each individual’s tumor. The ability to produce exact 3-dimensional models of objects means that 3D printing is set to revolutionize many fields.

Look who's evolving now: Using robots to study evolution

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 13:19
Scientists have demonstrated the usefulness of robots in studying evolution.  They successfully used a colony of rodent-like robots to watch different mating strategies evolve.  The work not only generated interesting and unexpected results, but it has also helped validate the use of robots in the study of evolution.

Tiny particles could help verify goods

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 18:00
Chemical engineers hope smartphone-readable microparticles could crack down on counterfeiting. Some 2 to 5 percent of all international trade involves counterfeit goods, according to a 2013 United Nations report. These illicit products -- which include electronics, automotive and aircraft parts, pharmaceuticals, and food -- can pose safety risks and cost governments and private companies hundreds of billions of dollars annually. Many strategies have been developed to try to label legitimate products and prevent illegal trade -- but these tags are often too easy to fake, are unreliable, or cost too much to implement, according to researchers who have developed a new alternative.