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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.

New app could make cannabis use safer
Researchers have developed a prototype app called 'Am I Stoned' that could help cannabis users understand how the drug is affecting them through a series of phone-based tasks.
2.7 billion tweets confirm: Echo chambers on Twitter are very real
A recent study of more than 2.7 billion tweets between 2009 and 2016 confirms that Twitter users are exposed mainly to political opinions that agree with their own. It is the largest study to characterize echo chambers by both the content in them and the networks they comprise. The findings indicate a strong correlation between biases in the content people both produce and consume. In other words, echo chambers are very real on Twitter.
Smart phone as a faster infection detector
Researchers have developed a low-cost, portable laboratory on a phone that works nearly as well as clinical laboratories to detect common viral and bacterial infections. The work could lead to faster and lower-cost lab results for fast-moving viral and bacterial epidemics, especially in rural or lower-resource regions where laboratory equipment and medical personnel are sometimes not readily available.
By 2040, artificial intelligence could upend nuclear stability
A new paper finds that artificial intelligence has the potential to upend the foundations of nuclear deterrence by the year 2040. While AI-controlled doomsday machines are considered unlikely, the hazards of artificial intelligence for nuclear security lie instead in its potential to encourage humans to take potentially apocalyptic risks, according to the paper.
Applying network analysis to natural history
By using network analysis to search for communities of marine life in the fossil records of the Paleobiology Database, biologists were able to quantify the ecological impacts of major events like mass extinctions and may help us anticipate the consequences of a 'sixth mass extinction.'
Swirling liquids work similarly to bitcoin
The physics involved with stirring a liquid operate the same way as the mathematical functions that secure digital information. This parallel could help in developing even more secure ways of protecting digital information.
'Face recognition' for galaxies: Artificial intelligence brings new tools to astronomy
A machine learning method called 'deep learning,' which has been widely used in face recognition and other image- and speech-recognition applications, has shown promise in helping astronomers analyze images of galaxies and understand how they form and evolve. In a new study, researchers used computer simulations of galaxy formation to train a deep learning algorithm, which then proved surprisingly good at analyzing images of galaxies from the Hubble Space Telescope.
New study shows wearable technology also contributes to distracted driving
A new study examines wearable technology and whether it affects drivers' concentration. Scientists have discovered that while a driver texting with a wearable device can marginally reduce their level of distraction, it ultimately makes texting while driving just as dangerous as with an ordinary cell phone.
How social networking sites may discriminate against women
Using the photo-sharing site Instagram as a test case, researchers demonstrate how two common recommendation algorithms amplify a network effect known as homophily in which similar or like-minded people cluster together. They further show how algorithms turned loose on a network with homophily effectively make women less visible; they found that the women in their dataset, whose photos were slightly less likely to be 'liked' or commented on, became even less popular once recommendation algorithms were introduced.
Path to a new era of microelectronics
A new microchip technology capable of optically transferring data could solve a severe bottleneck in current devices by speeding data transfer and reducing energy consumption by orders of magnitude, according to a new article.
Students learn Italian playing Assassin's Creed video game
A professor has used video games to teach Italian, allowing his students to master two semesters worth of language acquisition through one intensive class for students new to the Italian language.
Rare earth magnet recycling is a grind -- this new process takes a simpler approach
A new recycling process turns discarded hard disk drive magnets into new magnet material in a few steps, and tackles both the economic and environmental issues typically associated with mining e-waste for valuable materials.
Graphene sets a new record on squeezing light to one atom
Researchers reach the ultimate level of light confinement -- the space of one atom. This will pave the way to ultra-small optical switches, detectors and sensors.
Smarter fiber data transmission doubles capacity to the home
Researchers have developed data transmission techniques that can double or even triple the data transmission capacity of existing fiber to the home connections. Enjoying this increase requires you to upgrade your modem. But even if only your neighbors do, you can get a higher data capacity as well.
Molecular movement analysis with accurate software
The software 'PyFRAP' is an accurate and reliable tool for the analysis of molecular movement, employing numerical simulations rather than simplified assumptions.
New 'brain health index' can predict how well patients will do after stroke
A new computer program can assess whole brain deterioration and help predict cognitive function after stroke up to ten times more accurately than current methods.
Integrating optical components into existing chip designs
A new technique can assemble optical and electronic components separately on the surface of a computer chip, enabling the addition of optical components to existing chips with little design modification.
Chip-based blood test for multiple myeloma could make bone biopsies a relic of the past
A new research effort has resulted in a low-cost, reliable blood test that uses a small plastic chip about the size of a credit card that can deliver the same diagnostic information as a bone biopsy -- but using a simple blood draw instead.
Algorithm tool works to silence online chatroom sex predators
An algorithm tool developed by researchers will help law enforcement filter out and focus on sex offenders most likely to set up face-to-face meetings with child victims.
Machine-learning system processes sounds like humans do
Using a machine-learning system known as a deep neural network, researchers have created the first model that can replicate human performance on auditory tasks such as identifying a musical genre. This type of model can shed light on how the human brain may be performing the same tasks.
Diamond-like carbon is formed differently to what was believed -- machine learning enables development of new model
Researchers have made a significant breakthrough in computational science by combining atomic-level modelling and machine learning. For the first time, the method has been used to realistically model how an amorphous material is formed at the atomic level: that is, a material that does not have a regular crystalline structure. The approach is expected to have impact on the research of many other materials.
Algorithms reveal changes in stereotypes
New research shows that, over the past century, linguistic changes in gender and ethnic stereotypes correlated with major social movements and demographic changes in the US Census data.
This 2-D nanosheet expands like a Grow Monster
Engineers discovered that tiny crystal lattices called 'self-assembling molecular nanosheets' expand when exposed to light. The advancement could form the backbone of new light-powered actuators, oscillators and other microscopic electronic components useful in the development of artificial muscles and other soft robotic systems.
Screen reader plus keyboard helps blind, low-vision users browse modern webpages
By using a keyboard for tactile feedback in combination with a screen reader, users were three times more successful at navigating complex modern webpages, like they would encounter in a typical Airbnb booking site.
Craigslist, other online exchanges, may be good for the environment
Online exchanges, such as Craigslist, may not just help consumers declutter and earn a few extra bucks -- a researcher suggests that using those exchanges may help inspire behavior that is good for the environment.
How to calculate pricing and resources for cloud computing
Researchers have developed a new algorithm that cloud computing service providers can use to establish pricing and allocate resources.
Researchers design 'soft' robots that can move on their own
If Star Wars' R2-D2 is your idea of a robot, think again. Researchers have reported a new class of soft robot, composed of ultrathin sensing, actuating electronics and temperature-sensitive artificial muscle that can adapt to the environment and crawl, similar to the movement of an inchworm or caterpillar.
Writing and deleting magnets with lasers
Scientists have found a way to write and delete magnets in an alloy using a laser beam -- a surprising effect. The reversibility of the process opens up new possibilities in the fields of material processing, optical technology, and data storage.
Robot developed for automated assembly of designer nanomaterials
Engineers have developed a robot that can identify, collect, and manipulate two-dimensional nanocrystals. The robot stacked nanocrystals to form the most complex van der Waals heterostructure produced to date, with much less human intervention than the manual operations previously used to produce van der Waals heterostructures. This robot allows unprecedented access to van der Waals heterostructures, which are attractive for use in advanced electronics.
Flexible TVs and high performance wearable smart tech one step closer
Flexible televisions, tablets and phones as well as 'truly wearable' smart tech are a step closer thanks to a nanoscale transistor just created.
New study improves 'crowd wisdom' estimates
Researchers have examined just how accurate our collective intelligence is and how individual bias and information sharing skew aggregate estimates. Using their findings, they developed a mathematical correction that takes into account bias and social information to generate an improved crowd estimate.
An AI that makes road maps from aerial images
Map apps may have changed our world, but they still haven't mapped all of it yet. In particular, mapping roads can be tedious: even after taking aerial images, companies like Google still have to spend many hours manually tracing out roads. As a result, they haven't yet gotten around to mapping the vast majority of the more than 20 million miles of roads across the globe.
Digital remains should be treated with the same care and respect as physical remains
A new study advises that people's digital remains, such as, social media activity and online history, should be viewed in the same way as the human body, and treated with care and respect rather than manipulated for commercial gain. The paper suggests regulation akin to those used in museums and commercial use of organic human remains, is the best way to create explicit boundaries around acceptable afterlife activity and grief exploitation.
Machine learning techniques may reveal cause-effect relationships in protein dynamics data
Machine learning algorithms excel at finding complex patterns within big data, so researchers often use them to make predictions. Researchers are pushing the technology beyond finding correlations to help uncover hidden cause-effect relationships and drive scientific discoveries. Researchers are integrating machine learning techniques into their work studying proteins. One of their challenges has been a lack of methods to identify cause-effect relationships in data obtained from molecular dynamics simulations.
Algorithm to locate fake users on many social networks
Researchers have developed a new generic method to detect fake accounts on most types of social networks, including Facebook and Twitter.
Invertebrates inspire first fully 3-D printed active materials for robots
To overcome the material rigidity and actuation limitations in current robotic systems, a joint US Army Research Laboratory and University of Minnesota research project sought inspiration from invertebrates.
Researchers use search engines, social media to predict syphilis trends
New research finds that internet search terms and tweets related to sexual risk behaviors can predict when and where syphilis trends will occur.
Quantum shift shows itself in coupled light and matter
Researchers observe and measure a Bloch-Siegert shift in strongly coupled light and matter in a vacuum. The project could aid in the development of quantum computers.
Two robots are better than one: 5G antenna measurement research
Researchers continue to develop new antenna measurement methods, this time for future 5G wireless communications systems.
Face recognition technology that works in the dark
Researchers have developed an artificial intelligence and machine learning technique that produces a visible face image from a thermal image of a person's face captured in low-light or nighttime conditions. This development could lead to enhanced real-time biometrics and post-mission forensic analysis for covert nighttime operations.
Scientists uncover how to stop cyber intrusions
Researchers have found a proverbial smoking gun signature of the long sought-after Majorana particle, and the find, they say, could block intruders on sensitive communication networks.
BESSY II sheds light on how the internal compass is constructed in magnetotactic bacteria
Bacteria exist in many shapes and with very different talents. Magnetotactic bacteria can even sense the earth's magnetic field by making use of magnetic nanoparticles in their interior that act as an internal compass. Experts have now examined the magnetic compass of Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense at BESSY II. Their results may be helpful in designing actuation devices for nanorobots and nanosensors for biomedical applications.
Artificial intelligence accelerates discovery of metallic glass
Combining artificial intelligence with experimentation sped up the discovery of metallic glass by 200 times. The new material's glassy nature makes it stronger, lighter and more corrosion-resistant than today's best steel.
When superconductivity disappears in the core of a quantum tube
Predicting the behavior of electrons in a material is not easily done. Physicists have replaced the electrons with ultra-cold neutral lithium atoms that they had circulated in a one-dimensional quantum tube. The scientists were able to confirm an unusual state of matter that retains its insulation regardless of the level of attraction between the particles. This work opens the way to new materials with atypical properties.
Quantum physicists achieve entanglement record
Entanglement is of central importance for the new quantum technologies of the 21st century. A research team is now presenting the largest entangled quantum register of individually controllable systems to date, consisting of a total of 20 quantum bits. The physicists are pushing experimental and theoretical methods to the limits of what is currently possible.
Chemistry: Observing biological nanotransporters
A research team was able to describe with atomic detail how molecules are transported through biological membranes. Computer simulations and spectroscopic experiments provided insights into the work of so-called ABC transporters. These proteins play an important role in the drug resistance of tumor cells and bacteria.
The secret behind a choice cuppa or a perfect pint -- a mathematician
IF you want to know how to pour the perfect pint or create the ultimate cup of coffee, then you really need a mathematician.
Plan for quantum supremacy
Things are getting real for researchers in the UC Santa Barbara John Martinis/Google group. They are making good on their intentions to declare supremacy in a tight global race to build the first quantum machine to outperform the world's best classical supercomputers.
Scientists teach computers how to analyze brain cells
In the early days of neuroscience research, scientists painstakingly stained brain cells and drew by hand what they saw in a microscope. Fast forward to 2018 and machines may be able to learn how to do that work. According to a new study, it may be possible to teach machines how to pick out features in neurons and other cells that have not been stained or undergone other damaging treatments.
Computer the size of a pinhead? Combination for small data storage and tinier computers
It may sound like a futuristic device out of a spy novel, a computer the size of a pinhead, but according to new research it might be a reality sooner than once thought. Researchers have discovered that using an easily made combination of materials might be the way to offer a more stable environment for smaller and safer data storage, ultimately leading to miniature computers.
Student develops gaming technology for scientific research
Scientists have developed a new method and software for using computer game technology for complex scientific and engineering simulations.
How social media helps scientists get the message across
Analyzing the famous academic aphorism 'publish or perish' through a modern digital lens, a group of emerging ecologists and conservation scientists wanted to see whether communicating their new research discoveries through social media -- primarily Twitter -- eventually leads to higher citations years down the road. Turns out, the tweets are worth the time investment.
New aspects of superconductivity and related phenomena
Discovered accidentally over a century ago, the phenomenon of superconductivity continues to inspire a technological revolution. In 1911, while studying the behavior of solid mercury supercooled to 4 K (-269 °C), Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes (1853-1926) observed for the first time that certain materials conducted electricity with neither resistance nor losses at temperatures in the vicinity of absolute zero. Scientist are further exploring the exotic behaviors displayed by organic compounds subjected to low temperatures.
Digital addiction increases loneliness, anxiety and depression
A new study finds that smartphone use can be similar to other types of substance use.
How to catch a fish genome with big data
If you eat fish in the U.S., chances are it once swam in or near another country. That's because the U.S. imports over 80 percent of its seafood, according to estimates by the United Nations. New genetic research could help make farmed fish more palatable and bring America's wild fish species to dinner tables. Scientists have used big data and supercomputers to catch a fish genome, a first step in its sustainable aquaculture harvest.
New quantum method generates really random numbers
Researchers have developed a method for generating numbers guaranteed to be random, through the use of quantum mechanics. The experimental technique surpasses all previous methods for ensuring the unpredictability of its random numbers and may enhance security and trust in cryptographic systems.
Darker emoji skin tones promote diversity, Twitter study shows
Emoji characters with modified skin tones are used positively and are rarely abused, a study of Twitter posts has shown.
The thermodynamics of computing
Information processing requires a lot of energy. Energy-saving computer systems could make computing more efficient, but the efficiency of these systems can't be increased indefinitely, as physicists show.
Tiny injectable sensor could provide unobtrusive, long-term alcohol monitoring
Engineers have developed a tiny, ultra-low power chip that could be injected just under the surface of the skin for continuous, long-term alcohol monitoring. The chip is powered wirelessly by a wearable device such as a smartwatch or patch. The goal of this work is to develop a convenient, routine monitoring device for patients in substance abuse treatment programs.
Making computer animation more agile, acrobatic -- and realistic
Animation in film and video games is hard to make realistic: each action typically requires creating a separate controller, while deep reinforcement learning has yet to generate realistic human or animal motion. Computer scientists have now developed an algorithm that uses reinforcement learning to generate realistic simulations that can even recover realistically, after tripping, for example. The same algorithm works for 25 acrobatic and dance tricks, with one month of learning per skill.

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