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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: 21 min 21 sec ago

Practicing nursing care in a virtual world

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 13:40
Oculus Rift, a gaming headset, can help teach nurses how to communicate better, researchers suggest. The Oculus Rift headset gives your body and your mind the powerful experience of being in a virtual world. Your body feels confused, the signals that your brain gets from your eyes don't quite match with what the rest of your body is experiencing. Your heart rate jumps, and you might even feel nauseated. But many are intrigued -- and consumed by the experience.

New programming language for fast simulations

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 13:39
Programming is a time-consuming process, and it may take many years to develop even a basic simulator. Researchers want to simplify this process. They have created a language similar to the language of mathematics. This allows them to subdivide the work process in such a way that reduces the time it takes to develop a simulator. A mathematician can then focus on what he or she knows best -- the simulator's area of application. Programming experts, on the other hand, can sit and work with "the translator" in order that the translated code can run faster, and they don't have to worry about the application.

Digital storytelling promotes HIV/AIDS education in Africa

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 13:38
Children from poor backgrounds and with no previous technological experience are able to use digital storytelling to share their secrets and fears online, shows a recent doctoral thesis. The author has been involved in various projects in southern Africa focusing on the development of technologies that make it possible for children and youth to share their experiences of HIV and AIDS. Digital storytelling incorporates various types of media, including text, images, animations and sound.

3-D view of Greenland Ice Sheet opens window on ice history

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 19:09
Scientists using ice-penetrating radar have created 3-D maps of the age of the ice within the Greenland Ice Sheet. The new maps will aid future research to understand the impact of climate change on the ice sheet. The Greenland Ice Sheet is the second largest mass of ice on Earth, containing enough water to raise ocean levels by about 20 feet.

Silver nanowires demonstrate unexpected self-healing mechanism: Potential for flexible electronics

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 16:07
Researchers found that silver nanowires can withstand strong cyclic loads, which is a key attribute needed for flexible electronics.

Stalking versus cyberstalking: Effects on victims, their responses compared

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 16:07
The devastating effects of stalking and cyberstalking – harassing or threatening communication via the Internet – are explored in a new study. Key among the findings is that victims of cyberstalking engage in more 'self-protective' behaviours -- such as changing their normal routines or getting a new email address -- than victims of stalking.

Massive chip design savings to be realized

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 13:17
IT researchers have developed a programming language making the massive costs associated with designing hardware more manageable. Chip manufacturers have been using the same chip design techniques for twenty years now. The current process calls for extensive testing after each design step - a massively expensive state of affairs. The newly developed, so-called  functional  programming language makes it possible to prove, in advance, that a design transformation is a hundred percent error-free.

Improvements in transistors will make flexible plastic computers a reality

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 13:12
Researchers revealed that improvements should soon be expected in the manufacture of transistors that can be used, for example, to make flexible, paper-thin computer screens.

Falls in blood pressure, cholesterol have saved 20,000+ lives in England

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 00:39
Falls in blood pressure and total cholesterol staved off more than 20,000 deaths from coronary heart disease in England between 2000 and 2007, shows a mathematical analysis. The impact of statins was greatest among the most affluent in the population, suggesting that these drugs have helped maintain health inequalities between rich and poor, say the researchers.

Pro-marijuana 'tweets' are sky-high on Twitter

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 21:59
Analyzing every marijuana-related Twitter message sent during a one-month period in early 2014, researchers have found that the 'Twitterverse' is a pot-friendly place. In that time, more than 7 million tweets referenced marijuana, with 15 times as many pro-pot tweets sent as anti-pot tweets.

Tablet computers good medium for educational materials

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 20:48
It's increasingly important for educators to understand how mobile technology such as touch-screen tablets can enhance learning instead of being classroom distractions, says a professor of business administration, and co-author of new research in business and e-learning.

Scientists set quantum speed limit

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 20:48
The flip side of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, the energy time uncertainty principle, establishes a speed limit for transitions between two states. Physical chemists have now proved this principle for transitions between states that are not entirely distinct, allowing the calculation of speed limits for processes such as quantum computing and tunneling. The proof puts on sound footing a relationship that most physicists use daily.

Major breakthrough in reading ancient scrolls

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 16:44
Revolutionary software is making a breakthrough in reading 2,000-year old Herculaneum scrolls, computer scientists report. After working for more than 10 years on unlocking an ancient piece of history, what lies inside damaged Herculaneum scrolls, one researcher will accomplish the next step in allowing the world to read the scrolls, which cannot be physically opened.

Profitable phishing schemes slyly tinker with our heads, then rip us off

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 16:43
Researchers have found evidence that the incredible spread of email phishing scams may be due to phishers' increased use of "information-rich" emails that alter recipients' cognitive processes in a way that facilitates their victimization.

NASA, Microsoft collaboration will allow scientists to 'work on Mars'

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 13:58
NASA and Microsoft have teamed up to develop software called OnSight, a new technology that will enable scientists to work virtually on Mars using wearable technology called Microsoft HoloLens.

Computers: Visually pleasing graphics enhance user performance

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 13:45
An eye-catching and appealing graphic on a mobile phone or website helps people perform tasks quicker and more easily as the job gets more demanding. Investing a little bit extra to design aesthetically pleasing visuals for electronic devices, websites or anything people need to interact with will be beneficial in the long run.

Computer scientists improve privacy of Internet currency Bitcoin

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 13:45
It is traded on special stock exchanges and is accepted not only by various online shops, but also by thousands of brick-and-mortar stores across the globe: the virtual currency Bitcoin. The users benefit from its advantages: Since it does not require a central bank, the transactions can be concluded more quickly and with reduced charges. Moreover, many Bitcoin users appreciate more anonymity while paying. Nevertheless, its popularity is also resulting in thefts with increasing frequency. Computer scientists have now presented an approach that enhances anonymity and can be applied without long waits.

Self-powered intelligent keyboard could provide a new layer of security

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 13:35
By analyzing such parameters as the force applied by key presses and the time interval between them, a new self-powered non-mechanical intelligent keyboard could provide a stronger layer of security for computer users. The intelligent keyboard records each letter touched, but also captures information about the amount of force applied to the key and the length of time between one keystroke and the next. Such typing style is unique to individuals, and so could provide a new biometric for securing computers from unauthorized use.

Experts call for a rethink on guidelines about children's screen time

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 02:05
The amount of time children spend using screens, such as televisions and computers, on a daily basis exceeds recommended guidelines, according to research. These guidelines were drawn up at a time when tablets, cell phones and other mobile devices were not as present in everyday life, which suggests they need to be redrafted, experts say.

Video-based therapy might benefit babies at risk of autism

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 02:04
Video-based therapy for families with babies at risk of autism improves infants' engagement, attention and social behavior, and might reduce the likelihood of such children developing autism, according to new research.