Software Development News

Computers & Math News -- ScienceDaily
Computers & Math News -- ScienceDaily
Hacking and computer security. Read today's research news on hacking and protecting against codebreakers. New software, secure data sharing, and more.

Electronic medical records show promise in reducing unnecessary testing
Upon implementing electronic medical record-based interventions, Boston Medical Center reduced unnecessary diagnostic testing and increased the use of postoperative order sets.
Clapping Music app reveals that changing rhythm isn't so easy
Scientists have developed an app to understand why some rhythms are more difficult to perform than others.
Producing defectless metal crystals of unprecedented size
Researchers have developed a new method to convert inexpensive polycrystalline metal foils to single crystals with superior properties. It is expected that these materials will find many uses in science and technology.
Pushing the (extra cold) frontiers of superconducting science
Scientists have developed a method to measure magnetic properties of superconducting and magnetic materials that exhibit unusual quantum behavior at very low temperatures in high magnetic fields.
New data science method makes charts easier to read at a glance
Researchers have developed a new method -- 'Pixel Approximate Entropy' -- that measures the complexity of a data visualization and can be used to develop easier to read visualizations. 'In fast-paced settings, it is important to know if the visualization is going to be so complex that the signals may be obscured. The ability to quantify complexity is the first step towards automatically doing something about this.'
Roadmap for quantum internet development
Researchers have published a comprehensive guide towards a quantum internet. It describes six phases, starting with simple networks of qubits that could already enable secure quantum communications -- a phase that could be reality in the near future. The development ends with networks of fully quantum-connected quantum computers. In each phase, new applications become available such as extremely accurate clock synchronization or integrating different telescopes on Earth in one virtual 'supertelescope.'
First proof of quantum computer advantage
Quantum computers promise to revolutionize the future of computing. Scientists have now demonstrated for the first time that quantum computers do indeed offer advantages over conventional computers. They developed a quantum circuit that can solve a problem that is unsolvable using any equivalent classical circuit.
3D-printed supercapacitor electrode breaks records in lab tests
Scientists have reported unprecedented performance results for a supercapacitor electrode. The researchers fabricated electrodes using a printable graphene aerogel to build a porous three-dimensional scaffold loaded with pseudocapacitive material. In laboratory tests, the novel electrodes achieved the highest areal capacitance (electric charge stored per unit of electrode surface area) ever reported for a supercapacitor.
New tool uses your smartphone camera to track your alertness at work
Our level of alertness rises and falls over the course of a workday, sometimes causing our energy to drop and our minds to wander just as we need to perform important tasks. To help understand these patterns and improve productivity, researchers have developed a tool that tracks alertness by measuring pupil size, captured through a burst of photographs taken every time users unlock their smartphones.
The big problem of small data: A new approach
You've heard of 'big data' but what about small? Researches have crafted a modern approach that could solve a decades-old problem in statistics.
Extremely small magnetic nanostructures with invisibility cloak imaged
In novel concepts of magnetic data storage, it is intended to send small magnetic bits back and forth in a chip structure, store them densely packed and read them out later. The magnetic stray field generates problems when trying to generate particularly tiny bits. Now, researchers were able to put an 'invisibility cloak' over the magnetic structures. In this fashion, the magnetic stray field can be reduced in a fashion allowing for small yet mobile bits.
Computer Security: Preventing attacks made possible by Meltdown/Spectre
Researchers have developed a new security system that has been shown to outperform Intel's own approach at preventing so-called 'timing attacks' made possible by vulnerabilities like Meltdown and Spectre.
How does brain structure influence performance on language tasks?
The architecture of each person's brain is unique, and differences may influence how quickly people can complete various cognitive tasks. But how neuroanatomy impacts performance is largely an open question. To learn more, scientists are developing a new tool -- computational models of the brain -- to simulate how the structure of the brain may impact brain activity and, ultimately, human behavior.
New file type improves genomic data sharing while maintaining participant privacy
Based on an analysis of data leakages and opportunities to prevent the potential misuse of genetic information, researchers have developed a new file format for functional genomics data that enables data sharing while protecting the personal information of research participants.
Virtual reality can help make people more compassionate compared to other media
Researchers found that people who underwent a virtual reality experience, called 'Becoming Homeless,' were more empathetic toward the homeless and more likely to sign a petition in support of affordable housing than other study participants.
Supermassive black holes and supercomputers
The universe's deep past is beyond the reach of even the mighty Hubble Space Telescope. But a new review explains how creation of the first stars and galaxies is nevertheless being mapped in detail, with the aid of computer simulations and theoretical models -- and how a new generation of supercomputers and software is being built that will fill in the gaps.
New method to address deep-seated biases in science
A new statistical method that tests for equivalence, rather than difference, has a role to play in dismantling gender and publication biases in science. The authors believe the technique has broad applicability across disciplines and can help remove publication bias against ''negative results,'' opening the door to a broader investigation of natural phenomena.
When it comes to smartphone lifespan, brand name matters more than hardware
The environmental costs of smartphones are often exacerbated by the relatively short lifespans of these globally ubiquitous devices. When it comes to extending the lifespan of these products, brand name might be more important than repairability, a new study finds.
New reservoir computer marks first-ever microelectromechanical neural network application
A group of researchers reports the construction of the first reservoir computing device built with a microelectromechanical system. The neural network exploits the nonlinear dynamics of a microscale silicon beam to perform its calculations. The group's work looks to create devices that can act simultaneously as a sensor and a computer using a fraction of the energy a normal computer would use.
Automated system identifies dense tissue, a risk factor for breast cancer, in mammograms
Researchers have developed an automated model that assesses dense breast tissue in mammograms -- which is an independent risk factor for breast cancer -- as reliably as expert radiologists. This marks the first time a deep-learning model of its kind has successfully been used in a clinic on real patients, according to the researchers. With broad implementation, the researchers hope the model can help bring greater reliability to breast density assessments across the nation.
Exploring new spintronics device functionalities in graphene heterostructures
Graphene Flagship researchers have shown how heterostructures built from graphene and topological insulators have strong, proximity induced spin-orbit coupling which can form the basis of novel information processing technologies.
Guidelines for a standardized data format for use in cross-linguistic studies
An international team of researchers has set out a proposal for new guidelines on cross-linguistic data formats, in order to facilitate sharing and data comparisons between the growing number of large linguistic databases worldwide. This format provides a software package, a basic ontology and usage examples.
New smart watch algorithms can help identify why you are sleeping poorly
New algorithms take advantage of multiple smart watch sensors to accurately monitor wearers' sleep patterns. As well as obtaining rich information on wearers' sleep, the software, called SleepGuard, can estimate sleep quality and provide users with practical advice to help them get a better night's snooze.
Discovery of an atomic electronic simulator
Targeting applications like neural networks for machine learning, a new discovery is paving the way for atomic ultra-efficient electronics, the need for which is increasingly critical in our data-driven society. The key to unlocking untold potential for the greenest electronics? Creating bespoke atomic patterns to in turn control electrons.
Security vulnerabilities in terahertz data links
Scientists have assumed that future terahertz data links would have an inherent immunity to eavesdropping, but new research shows that's not necessarily the case.
Ultra-light gloves let users 'touch' virtual objects
Scientists have developed an ultra-light glove -- weighing less than 8 grams per finger -- that enables users to feel and manipulate virtual objects. Their system provides extremely realistic haptic feedback and could run on a battery, allowing for unparalleled freedom of movement.
Blue phosphorus mapped and measured for the first time
Until recently, the existence of 'blue' phosphorus was pure theory: Now a team was able to examine samples of blue phosphorus at BESSY II for the first time and confirm via mapping of their electronic band structure that this is actually this exotic phosphorus modification. Blue phosphorus is an interesting candidate for new optoelectronic devices.
Arsenic for electronics
The discovery of graphene, a material made of one or very few atomic layers of carbon, started a boom. Today, such two-dimensional materials are no longer limited to carbon and are hot prospects for many applications, especially in microelectronics. Scientists have now introduced a new 2D material: they successfully modified arsenene (arsenic in a graphene-like structure) with chloromethylene groups.
Artificial intelligence aids automatic monitoring of single molecules in cells
Researchers developed a system that can automatically image single molecules within living cells. This system employs learning via neural networks to focus appropriately on samples, search automatically for cells, image fluorescently labeled single molecules, and track their movements. With this system, the team achieved the automated determination of pharmacological parameters and quantitative characterization of the effects of ligands and inhibitors on a target, which has potentially profound implications for biological and medical sciences.
High-performance flexible transparent force touch sensor for wearable devices
Researchers reported a high-performance and transparent nanoforce touch sensor by developing a thin, flexible, and transparent hierarchical nanocomposite (HNC) film. The research team says their sensor simultaneously features all the necessary characters for industrial-grade application: high sensitivity, transparency, bending insensitivity, and manufacturability.
Sound, vibration recognition boost context-aware computing
Smart devices can seem dumb if they don't understand what's happening around them. Researchers say environmental awareness can be enhanced by analyzing sound and vibrations. The researchers report about two approaches -- one that uses the ubiquitous microphone, and another that employs a modern-day version of eavesdropping technology once used by the KGB.
Liver-on-a-chip, the ideal test environment for CRISPR
Organ-on-a-chip liver platform marks first time this breakthrough gene-editing technology will be used on a non-animal, multicellular model.
Researchers quickly harvest 2-D materials, bringing them closer to commercialization
Researchers have developed a technique to harvest 2-inch diameter wafers of 2-D material within just a few minutes. They can then be stacked together to form an electronic device within an hour.
Why don't we understand statistics? Fixed mindsets may be to blame
The first study of why people struggle to solve statistical problems reveals a preference for complicated rather than simpler, more intuitive solutions -- which often leads to failure in solving the problem altogether. The researchers suggest this is due to unfavorable methods of teaching statistics in schools and universities, and highlight the serious consequences when applied to professional settings like court cases.
Fake or real? New study finds consumers wary of manipulated photos
In the age of fake news and doctored photos, wary consumers are not nearly as gullible as one might presume. But the source of the images does not matter much as people evaluate what is fake and what is real, a study suggests.
Computational model links family members using genealogical and law-enforcement databases
Researchers are reporting ways in which using genetic ancestry databases to solve crimes could potentially be expanded.
New microscope offers 4-D look at embryonic development in living mice
With the development of an adaptive, multi-view light sheet microscope and a suite of computational tools, researchers have captured the first view of early organ development inside the mouse embryo.
The culprit of superconductivity in cuprates
Researchers have uncovered an underlying mechanism related to the materials dependence in copper-based high-temperature superconductors. The research may open a new avenue for designing materials with high-temperature superconductivity.
'Fudge factors' in physics?
What if your theory to model and predict the electronic structure of atoms isn't accounting for dispersion energy? You come up with some 'fudge factors' to make it all work. But getting the right results for the wrong reasons can only take you so far.
Research on light-matter interaction could improve electronic and optoelectronic devices
New research increases our understanding of how light interacts with atomically thin semiconductors and creates unique excitonic complex particles, multiple electrons, and holes strongly bound together.
Disruption makes startup investors balance caution against fear of missing out
A new study finds that fear of missing out motivates investors to give money early to startups with a disruptive vision. However, those backers are reluctant to invest too much in unproven ideas that might not take off. In other words, disruptive startups are more likely to raise money, but they receive smaller amounts than less-threatening ventures.
Novel machine learning based framework could lead to breakthroughs in material design
Computers used to take up entire rooms. Today, a two-pound laptop can slide effortlessly into a backpack. But that wouldn't have been possible without the creation of new, smaller processors -- which are only possible with the innovation of new materials.
Researchers develop 3D printed objects that can track and store how they are used
Engineers have developed 3D printed devices that can track and store their own use -- without using batteries or electronics. Instead, this system uses a method called backscatter, through which a device can share information by reflecting signals that have been transmitted to it with an antenna.
New technique locates robots, soldiers in GPS-challenged areas
Scientists have developed a novel algorithm that enables localization of humans and robots in areas where GPS is unavailable.
Precise electron spin control yields faster memory storage
Enhancing the speed and reducing the size of data storage devices requires gaining control over the force making electrons spins. In a recent study scientists have developed a new theory to predict the complex dynamics of spin procession in materials subjected to ultra-short laser pulses. The advantage of this approach is that it is predictive.
To crash or swerve? Study reveals which actions taken by self-driving cars are morally defensible
Researchers asked the public what they believed would be the most morally and ethically sound behavior for an autonomous vehicle (AV) faced with an oncoming collision. Even a perfectly functioning AV will not be able to avoid every collision and in some situations, every option will result in some type of crash.
AI tool automatically reveals how to write apps that drain less battery
Researchers have created a new tool, called 'DiffProf,' that uses artificial intelligence to automatically decide for the developer if a feature should be improved to drain less battery and how to make that improvement.
Artificial intelligence helps reveal how people process abstract thought
As artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated, much of the public attention has focused on how successfully these technologies can compete against humans at chess and other strategy games. A philosopher has taken a different approach, deconstructing the complex neural networks used in machine learning to shed light on how humans process abstract learning.
Code of ethics doesn't influence decisions of software developers
The world's largest computing society, ACM, updated its code of ethics in July 2018 -- but new research shows that the code of ethics does not appear to affect the decisions made by software developers.
Nanoscale pillars as a building block for future information technology
Researchers propose a new device concept that can efficiently transfer the information carried by electron spin to light at room temperature -- a stepping stone towards future information technology.
Using personal data to predict blood pressure
Engineers used wearable off-the-shelf technology and machine learning to predict an individual's blood pressure and provide personalized recommendations to lower it based on this data.
AI could predict cognitive decline leading to Alzheimer's disease in the next five years
A team of scientists has successfully trained a new artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to make accurate predictions regarding cognitive decline leading to Alzheimer's disease.
Model helps robots navigate more like humans do
Researchers have now devised a way to help robots navigate environments more like humans do. Their novel motion-planning model lets robots determine how to reach a goal by exploring the environment, observing other agents, and exploiting what they've learned before in similar situations.
Detecting fake news, at its source
A machine learning system aims to determine if a news outlet is accurate or biased.
A new brain-inspired architecture could improve how computers handle data and advance AI
Researchers are developing a new computer architecture, better equipped to handle increased data loads from artificial intelligence. Their designs draw on concepts from the human brain and significantly outperform conventional computers in comparative studies.
It pays to be pessimistic, shows new research into entrepreneurs
Optimistic thinking is leading people to set up businesses that have no realistic prospect of financial success, shows new research which may help explain why only fifty per cent of businesses in the UK survive their first five years.
Neuromorphic computing: New research could lead to more energy-efficient computing
Scientists have developed 'neuristor' circuits that behave similarly to biological neurons in the human brain, which can perform complex computations using an incredibly small amount of power.
In tiny worms, researchers find spiking neurons -- and clues about brain computation
Studying neurons in C. elegans, researchers made a surprising discovery: these roundworms, like most animals, process information using a digital, electric code.
New algorithm efficiently finds antibiotic candidates
Researchers describe a new means of searching vast repositories of compounds produced by microbes. By analyzing the mass spectra of the compounds, they were able to identify known compounds within the repository and eliminate them from further analysis, focusing instead on the unknown variants that might potentially be better or more efficient antibiotics, anticancer drugs or other pharmaceuticals.
New simulation sheds light on spiraling supermassive black holes
A new model is bringing scientists a step closer to understanding the kinds of light signals produced when two supermassive black holes, which are millions to billions of times the mass of the Sun, spiral toward a collision.

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