Environment & Technology News

Flexible solution for secure IT in cars

Today, almost everything in your car is managed by an electronic control unit (ECU). The problem is that these minicomputers are increasingly coming under attack. Researchers have now developed a platform that makes it possible to flexibly install secure devices in a way that is based on open and vendor-neutral hardware and software standards.

Small tilt in magnets makes them viable memory chips

Engineers have found a new way to switch the polarization of nanomagnets without the need for an external magnetic field. The advance brings the semiconductor industry a major step closer to moving high-density storage from hard disks onto integrated circuits, and could soon lead to instant-on computers that operate with far greater speed and use significantly less power.

Quantum behavior of millimeter-sized magnets unraveled: Superconducting qubit and magnetic sphere hybrid

Researchers have demonstrated that it is possible to exchange a quantum bit, the minimum unit of information used by quantum computers, between a superconducting quantum-bit circuit and a quantum in a magnet called a magnon. This result is expected to contribute to the development of quantum interfaces and quantum repeaters.

Bitcoin virtual currency users and motivations: A haven for criminals?

A new study uses Google Trends data in an attempt to understand who uses the anonymous crypto-currency Bitcoin, and for what purposes.

Research could play major role in curbing illegal ivory sales

A new automated data mining system could lead to a dramatic increase in the detection of potentially illegal online sales of elephant ivory through eBay. Law enforcement agencies and conservationist are expected to make use of the system in their ongoing battle against illegal ivory sales. At the moment, identifying illegal elephant ivory being sold online is a laborious, tedious and expensive task, even for experts.

Shoring up Tor: Researchers mount successful attacks against popular anonymity network -- and show how to prevent them

With 2.5 million daily users, the Tor network is the world's most popular system for protecting Internet users' anonymity. Researchers have now demonstrated a vulnerability in Tor's design. They show that an adversary could infer a hidden server's location, or the source of the information reaching a given Tor user, by analyzing the traffic patterns of encrypted data passing through a single computer in the all-volunteer Tor network.

How age, other factors influence online health information searches

A new study aims to evaluate the types of search strategies that Internet users adopt when trying to solve a complicated health problem.

Cellphones can steal data from 'air-gapped computers'

A research team discovered how to turn an ordinary air-gapped computer into a cellular transmitting antenna using software that modifies the CPU firmware. GSMem malicious software uses the electromagnetic waves from phones to receive and exfiltrate small bits of data, such as security keys and passwords.

Superfast fluorescence sets new speed record

A plasmonic device that, combined with semiconductor quantum dots, could one day be turned into an ultrafast light-emitting diode for optical computing has been developed by researchers.

Object recognition for robots

A team of researchers specializes in SLAM, or simultaneous localization and mapping, the technique whereby mobile autonomous robots map their environments and determine their locations. Now these researchers have demonstrated how SLAM can be used to improve object-recognition systems, which will be a vital component of future robots that have to manipulate the objects around them in arbitrary ways.

Computer security tools for journalists lacking in a post-Snowden world

Despite heightened awareness of surveillance tactics and privacy breaches, existing computer security tools aren't meeting the needs of journalists working with sensitive material, a new study finds.

New computer program first to recognize sketches more accurately than a human

Researchers have built the first computer program that can recognize hand-drawn sketches better than humans.

Better memory with faster lasers

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.

Wireless data delivery over active TV channels tested

Engineers have demonstrated the first system that allows wireless data transmissions over UHF channels during active TV broadcasts.

The quantum physics of artificial light harvesting

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.

Cutting cost, power consumption for big data

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.

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

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.

Scientists develop free, online genetic research tool

For most genetic scientists, the lack of access to computer servers and programs can hinder genetic advancements. Now, a group of scientists has introduced a game changer in the world of biological research. The online, free service, RNAMiner, has been developed to handle large data sets which could lead to faster medical results.

Fewer women than men are shown online ads related to high-paying jobs

Significantly fewer women than men were shown online ads promising them help getting jobs paying more than $200,000, raising questions about the fairness of targeting ads online, new research suggests.

Biggest beast in big data forest? One field's astonishing growth is 'genomical'

Who's about to become the biggest beast in the big data forest? A group of computing experts have arrived at an answer. It's not You Tube or Twitter, social media sites that gobble up awesome quantities of bandwidth, and it's not astronomy or particle physics. No, the alpha beast in the big data forest is genomics -- a science that didn't exist 15 years ago and just beginning to break out from the field.