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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.

Private browsing gets more private
A new system uses JavaScript decryption algorithms embedded in web pages and code obfuscation to patch security holes left open by web browsers' private-browsing functions.
Developing reliable quantum computers
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can't manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to ensure it is working reliably? Depending on the algorithmic task, this could be an easy or a very difficult certification problem. An international team of researchers has taken an important step towards solving a difficult variation of this problem, using a statistical approach.
Quantum recurrence: Everything goes back to the way it was
When a complex system is left alone, it will return to its initial state with almost perfect precision. Gas particles in a container, for example, will return almost exactly to their starting positions after some time. For decades, scientists have investigated how this 'Poincaré Recurrence Theorem' can be applied to the world of quantum physics. Now, researchers have successfully demonstrated a kind of 'Poincaré recurrence' in a multi-particle quantum system.
Artificial intelligence quickly and accurately diagnoses eye diseases and pneumonia
Using artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, researchers have developed a new computational tool to screen patients with common but blinding retinal diseases, potentially speeding diagnoses and treatment.
Age and gender matter behind the wheel -- but not how you might expect
A new study explored the relationship between new drivers' skills and age, gender, organized sports and video gaming. The results suggest that mandatory training should be required for all novice drivers, not just teenagers.
Metabolic modelling becomes three-dimensional
Scientists have developed the first computer model to include 3-D in the representation of human metabolic processes.
Computer scientists and materials researchers collaborate to optimize steel classification
Steel is used to build cars, wind turbines and bridges and there are currently about 5000 different types of steel available on the market. But how can steel producers guarantee that a particular steel will always exhibit the same high quality? Up until now experienced experts analysed material samples under the microscope and carefully compared the results against reference images. But classifying materials in this way is not free from errors.
'Minimalist machine learning' algorithms analyze images from very little data
Mathematicians have developed a new approach to machine learning aimed at experimental imaging data. Rather than relying on the tens or hundreds of thousands of images used by typical machine learning methods, this new approach 'learns' much more quickly and requires far fewer images.
Phishing success linked to incentives and sticking to an effective strategy
A new study focusing on the attacker -- a largely ignored but crucial aspect of phishing -- identifies successful and less successful strategies. It also reveals that attackers are motivated by quicker and larger rewards -- with creative individuals putting more effort into constructing these malicious emails. Insights from the study can be used to develop tools and training procedures to detect phishing emails.
Computer models allow farmers to diversify pest management methods
A technology developed by Brazilian researchers can help fighting highly resistant agricultural pests by analyzing the connections between the pests' patterns of dispersal in crops and different configurations in diversified intercropping systems.
Robo-picker grasps and packs
A new robotic system could lend a hand with warehouse sorting and other picking or clearing tasks.
Can you eat cells? Computer model predicts which organisms are capable of phagocytosis
Researchers have created a computational model capable of predicting whether or not organisms have the ability to 'eat' other cells through a process known as phagocytosis. The model may be a useful tool for large-scale microbe surveys and provides valuable insight into the evolution of complex life on Earth, challenging ideas put forward in recent studies.
How health authorities fight the spread of infectious diseases
Public outreach campaigns can prevent the spread of devastating yet treatable diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and gonorrhea. But ensuring these campaigns effectively reach undiagnosed patients, who may unknowingly spread the disease to others, is a major challenge for cash-strapped public health agencies. Now, a team of researchers has created an algorithm that can help policymakers reduce the overall spread of disease.
Researchers use data to look 'upstream' to see what makes patients sick
Researchers have successfully used data to predict primary care patients' needs for social service referrals, a finding that may potentially help shift the focus of health care from caring for ill people to preventing patients from getting sick.
Splitting crystals for 2-D metallic conductivity
Adding oxygen atoms to a perovskite-like crystal material splits it into layers, giving it unique electrical properties.
Alexa, how do word senses evolve?
A new paper is the first to look at 1,000 years of English development and detect the kinds of algorithms that human minds have used to extend existing words to new senses of meaning. This kind of 'reverse engineering' of how human language has developed could have implications for natural language processing by machines.
Mobile health applications put the personal data of millions of users at risk
80% of the most popular health applications available on Android do not comply with standards intended to prevent the misuse and dissemination of their users' data.
Fake news ‘vaccine’: online game may ‘inoculate’ by simulating propaganda tactics
A new online game puts players in the shoes of an aspiring propagandist to give the public a taste of the techniques and motivations behind the spread of disinformation -- potentially 'inoculating' them against the influence of so-called fake news in the process.
Real-time Captcha technique improves biometric authentication
A new login authentication approach could improve the security of current biometric techniques that rely on video or images of users' faces. Known as Real-Time Captcha, the technique uses a unique 'challenge' that's easy for humans -- but difficult for attackers who may be using machine learning and image generation software to spoof legitimate users.
Computers aid discovery of new, inexpensive material to make LEDs with high color quality
Computers have helped researchers develop a new phosphor that can make LEDs cheaper and render colors more accurately. Researchers predicted the new phosphor using supercomputers and data mining algorithms, then developed a simple recipe to make it in the lab. Unlike many phosphors, this one is made of inexpensive, earth-abundant elements and can easily be made using industrial methods. As computers predicted, the new phosphor performed well in tests and in LED prototypes.
Unconventional superconductor may be used to create quantum computers of the future
With their insensitivity to decoherence what are known as Majorana particles could become stable building blocks of a quantum computer. The problem is that they only occur under very special circumstances. Now researchers have succeeded in manufacturing a component that is able to host the sought-after particles.
Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms
The scientists identified which mechanisms destroy the quantum properties of individual insulator. Using a Scanning Tunneling Microscope, which utilizes an atomically sharp metal tip, they were able to precisely image individual iron atoms and measure and control the time that the iron atom can maintain its quantum behavior.
Drug transfer tested using placenta-on-a-chip
Researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of their 'organ-on-a-chip' platform in studying how drugs are transported across the human placental barrier.
Promising method for improving quantum information processing
A team of researchers has demonstrated a new method for splitting light beams into their frequency modes, work that could spur advancements in quantum information processing and distributed quantum computing.
No testosterone changes found in esports gamers
Players of the competitive esports video game League of Legends showed no change in testosterone during game play, researchers have found.
Teens post online content to appear interesting, popular and attractive
Teens work very hard to create a favorable online image through careful selection of which photos, activities and links to post on Facebook and Instagram, according to a recent study. Content that makes them appear interesting, well-liked and attractive to their friends and peers is a primary goal for adolescents when deciding what to share in digital spaces.
Bringing a hidden superconducting state to light
Using high-intensity pulses of infrared light, scientists found evidence of superconductivity associated with charge 'stripes' in a material above the temperature at which it begins to transmit electricity without resistance -- a finding that could help them design better high-temperature superconductors.
Immune system simulation shows need for multi-target treatments for sepsis
Using a computational model of the human immune system, scientists have shown that efforts to combat sepsis might be more effective if they targeted multiple steps in the molecular processes that drive the illness.
Physicists create new form of light
Physicists have created a new form of light that could enable quantum computing with photons.
OCD treatment could someday start with a brain scan
Researchers have developed a way to use brain scans and machine learning — a form of artificial intelligence — to predict whether people with OCD will benefit from cognitive behavior therapy. The technique could help improve the overall success rate of cognitive behavioral therapy, and it could enable therapists to tailor treatment to each patient.
New printing technique uses cells and molecules to recreate biological structures
Researchers have developed a printing technique using cells and molecules normally found in natural tissues to create constructs that resemble biological structures.
Fingerprints of quantum entanglement
Quantum entanglement is a key feature of a quantum computer. Using conventional methods is hard since they require a large number of repeated measurements. Scientists have developed a novel method where in many cases even a single experimental run suffices to prove the presence of entanglement.
All-terrain microbot moves by tumbling over complex topography
A new type of all-terrain microbot that moves by tumbling could help usher in tiny machines for various applications.
Tissue paper sensors show promise for health care, entertainment, robotics
Engineers have turned tissue paper -- similar to toilet tissue -- into a new kind of wearable sensor that can detect a pulse, a blink of an eye and other human movement. The sensor is light, flexible and inexpensive, with potential applications in health care, entertainment and robotics.
Better together: Silicon qubits plus light add up to new quantum computing capability
In a significant step forward for quantum computing in silicon - the same material used in today's computers -- a team has successfully coupled a single electron's quantum information, or spin, to a particle of light, or photon. The goal is to use light to carry quantum information on a futuristic quantum computing chip.
Neural networks everywhere
Special-purpose chip that performs some simple, analog computations in memory reduces the energy consumption of binary-weight neural networks by up to 95 percent while speeding them up as much as sevenfold.
Video games to improve mobility after a stroke
New research reveals that, after a cerebral infarction, injuries in areas that control attention also cause motility problems. The authors propose to complement physiotherapy with another type of cognitive training, such as video games.
Can a cockroach teach a robot how to scurry across rugged terrain?
Researchers build a robot that moves more like a cockroach.
Missing link to novel superconductivity revealed
Scientists have discovered a state of magnetism that may be the missing link to understanding the relationship between magnetism and unconventional superconductivity.
Graphene on toast, anyone?
The same scientists who introduced laser-induced graphene have enhanced their technique to produce what may become a new class of edible electronics.
Energy-efficient encryption for the internet of things
A special-purpose chip hardwired to implement elliptic-curve cryptography in general and the datagram transport layer security protocol in particular reduces power consumption by 99.75 percent and increases speed 500-fold, to help enable the internet of things.
New machine learning algorithm uncovers time-delayed interactions in cells
A new algorithm uses time-series data to show the cause-and-effect interactions that take place inside of living cells.
New method for waking up devices
A device that's turned off doesn't suck battery life, but it also doesn't work. Now a low-power system that's always on the alert can turn devices on when they are needed, saving energy in the networked internet of things.
Study finds gender and skin-type bias in commercial artificial-intelligence systems
A new article shows that three commercial facial-analysis programs demonstrate gender and skin-type biases, and suggests a new, more accurate method for evaluating the performance of such machine-learning systems.
Scalable two-dimensional materials advance future-gen electronics
A pair of papers published online in two nanotechnology journals this month provide the basis for growing wafer-scale two-dimensional crystals for future electronic devices
Cancer-fighting nanorobots programmed to seek and destroy tumors
In a major advancement in nanomedicine, scientists have successfully programmed nanorobots to shrink tumors by cutting off their blood supply.
New process allows 3-D printing of nanoscale metal structures
By mixing metal ions and organic ligands, scientists have developed a process for the 3-D printing of metal structures that are smaller than ever before.
The Scanpy software processes huge amounts of single-cell data
Scientists have developed a program that is able to help manage enormous datasets. The software, named Scanpy, is a candidate for analyzing the Human Cell Atlas.
Web-based teaching can improve science understanding for struggling pupils
Web-based learning tools can help deepen science knowledge among all middle school students, and ease the science literacy gap for underachieving students, according to a three-year study.
Forging a quantum leap in quantum communication
The major drawback of quantum communication today is the slow speed of data transfer, which is limited by the speed at which the parties can perform quantum measurements. Researchers have now devised a method that overcomes this.
Your gadget's next power supply? Your body
Searching for a power outlet may soon become a thing of the past. Instead, devices will receive electricity from a small metallic tab that, when attached to the body, is capable of generating electricity from bending a finger and other simple movements.
Mass production of new class of semiconductors closer to reality
Chemists have made it easier for manufacturers to produce a new class of faster and cheaper semiconductors.
AI computer vision breakthrough IDs poachers in less than half a second
Researchers have long been applying AI to protect wildlife. Initially, computer scientists were using AI and game theory to anticipate the poachers' haunts, and now they have applied artificial intelligence and deep learning to spot poachers in near real-time.
New '4-D goggles' allow wearers to be 'touched' by approaching objects
A team of researchers has developed a pair of '4-D goggles' that allows wearers to be physically 'touched' by a movie when they see a looming object on the screen, such as an approaching spacecraft.
Earthquake simulations of California's Hayward fault
In the next 30 years, there is a one-in-three chance that California's Hayward fault will rupture with a 6.7 magnitude or higher earthquake. Scientists have used some of the world's most powerful supercomputers to model ground shaking for a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on the Hayward fault and show more realistic motions than ever before.
3-D vision discovered in praying mantis
Miniature glasses have revealed a new form of 3-D vision in praying mantises that could lead to simpler visual processing for robots.
The beneficial aspects of mindfulness for students of computer engineering
Subjected to the same practice exercise, the group of students that participated in mindfulness sessions obtained better results than those that did not take part in this activity.
How good a match is it? Putting statistics into forensic firearm identification
When comparing bullets or cartridge cases, a forensic firearms examiner can offer an expert opinion as to whether or not they match. But they cannot express the strength of the evidence numerically, the way a DNA expert can when testifying about genetic evidence. Now, researchers have developed a statistical approach for ballistic comparisons that may enable numerical testimony. 
Researchers help robots 'think' and plan in the abstract
New research shows how robots can autonomously construct abstract representations of their surroundings and use them to plan for multi-step tasks.
'Smart thermometer' improves flu forecasting
A new approach shows that de-identified data from a 'smart thermometer' connected to a mobile phone app can track flu activity in real time at both population and individual levels and the data can be used to significantly improve flu forecasting.

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