Articles about research

Image of woman holding mask of her own face

The eyes have it: 'DeepFakes' bogus AI-meddled videos outed by unblinking gaze

In the last year or so convincing fake videos known as DeepFakes – the product of deep learning-driven facial image manipulation – have been condemned as a threat to democracy, or what's left of it. The fear is that invented events represent the sort of fake news that can alter elections and affect civic engagement. Imagine …
Thomas Claburn, 14 Jun 2018

EmDrive? More like BS drive: Physics-defying space engine flunks out

The "impossible" EmDrive may be just that, though don't count it out just yet. A group of German physicists at TU Dresden has tested two proposed means of propellantless propulsion – the EmDrive and Mach Effect Thrusters – and found the act of testing is what makes these arguably physics-flouting technologies appear to work. …
Thomas Claburn, 23 May 2018
CMU president Farnam Jahanian

Carnegie Mellon makes network security guru Jahanian president

Carnegie Mellon University has named computer science professor and Arbor Networks founder Farnam Jahanian as its new president. The researcher-turned-entrepreneur-turned-administrator takes over the permanent position after an eight-month temporary turn as president. Previously, he had led the university's academic department …
Shaun Nichols, 8 Mar 2018

Broadcom baits hook with promise of $1.5bn investment fund to catch Qualcomm

Broadcom says it will earmark $1.5bn for funding of 5G wireless broadband networks as part of its proposed acquisition of Qualcomm. The chip designer said Wednesday that, should its $117bn buyout plan for Qualcomm go through, it will set up a $1.5bn fund to "focus on innovation to train and educate the next generation of …
Shaun Nichols, 7 Mar 2018

Your shoe, chewing gum, or ciggies are now your extra password

Computer researchers at Florida International University and Bloomberg have come up with an alternative to crypto baubles like YubiKeys for two-factor authentication. It's not that there's anything wrong with YubiKeys and similar login tokens, apart from the occasional security blunder. But they can be a potential faff for non …
Thomas Claburn, 25 Oct 2017
tattoo

Harvard, MIT boffins ink up with health-monitoring 'smart' tats

Researchers at Harvard and MIT have developed a subdermal ink capable of monitoring vitals such as hydration and blood sugar. The team of eight researchers found that by mixing optical biosensors with tattoo ink, they are able to create tattoos (dubbed "dermal abyss" or "d-abyss") that react with the body's own fluids and …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Sep 2017
Protestor barricade image via Shutterstock

Has science gone too far, part 97: Boffins craft code to find protesters on social networks, rate them on their violence

Mining social networks for every scrap of information about our online lives is now common practice for marketers, academics, government agencies, and so on. Text in tweets, blogs and other posts is valuable because it's searchable, analyzable, and not terribly costly to crawl, fetch or store. But ongoing computer vision …
Thomas Claburn, 21 Sep 2017
Cows walk on green field in front of silos

Government lab that gives a crap pushes open source

The US government wants you to use its software, and if you're into manure, so much the better. The Idaho National Laboratory (INL), part of the US Department of Energy, last week released a new round of open-source projects in the hope that the public will take its research and run with it. Known for its MOOSE physics …
Thomas Claburn, 13 Sep 2017
Scientist says nope. Photo by SHutterstock

Boffins fear we might be running out of ideas

Innovation, fetishized by Silicon Valley companies and celebrated by business boosters, no longer provides the economic jolt it once did. In order to maintain Moore's Law – by which transistor density doubles every two years or so – it now takes 18 times as many scientists as it did in the 1970s. That means each researcher's …
Thomas Claburn, 11 Sep 2017

Brazilians waxed: Uni's Tor relay node booted after harvesting .onions

A university research project in Brazil has had its Tor relay node banned after it was caught harvesting the .onion addresses of visitors. Marcus Rodrigues, a junior researcher with the University of Campinas in São Paulo, claims he and others were working to create a tool that could tell malicious hidden services from benign …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Aug 2017
phishing

Berkeley boffins build better spear-phishing black-box bruiser

Security researchers from UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the US have come up with a way to mitigate the risk of spear-phishing in corporate environments. In a paper presented at Usenix 2017, titled "Detecting Credential Spearphishing in Enterprise Settings," Grant Ho, Mobin Javed, Vern Paxson, and …
Thomas Claburn, 18 Aug 2017
Chorus chatbot diagram

Dismayed by woeful AI chatbots, boffins hired real people – and went back to square one

Analysis Convinced that intelligent conversational assistants like Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana, and Apple Siri are neither particularly intelligent nor capable of sophisticated conversation, computer boffins last year began testing a crowd-powered assistant embodied by Amazon Mechanical Turk workers. The chatbot, a people-powered …
Thomas Claburn, 14 Aug 2017
Man looks suspiciously over his shoulder while working on laptop. Photo via Shutterstock

Science sugar daddy extends data-sharing policy to software

Moneybags research funder the Wellcome Trust has changed its policy on the sharing and management of research outputs to include original software, reagents and cell lines. Academics that want to get their hands on the trust's cash will have to define how they plan to manage the research outputs their work generates when they …
Rebecca Hill, 25 Jul 2017
AirCode image

Boffins back bubbles for better bonding with beautiful belongings

To mark and track 3D printed objects, boffins propose injecting them with air. Air itself isn't as well suited for expression as ink, but imprisoned in a stable medium like plastic, it can be arranged to convey data. In a recently published research paper, "AirCode: Unobtrusive Physical Tags for Digital Fabrication," Columbia …
Thomas Claburn, 21 Jul 2017
Dallas, Texas

Texas says 'howdy' to completely driverless robo-cars on its roads

Texas will, from later this year, allow the entire Lone Star State to become a test bed for cars that can drive themselves with or without a human behind the wheel. A newly enacted law, SB 2205, was signed off on Thursday by Governor Greg Abbott, and will go into effect on September 1. Under the new rules, researchers can try …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Jun 2017

Shine on, you crazy Eind minds: Boffins fire out 43Gbps infrared 'Wi-Fi'

In five years or so, Wi-Fi access points could carry data at rates 100 times faster than today using infrared light rather than other portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in the Netherlands have developed a way to use fiber optic cables, mounted with networking …
Thomas Claburn, 18 Mar 2017

UK govt's £17.3m AI-boffinry cash injection is just 'a token amount'

AI is at the forefront of the UK government’s digital strategy, and believed to be crucial to the nation's future post-Brexit. A recent study by Accenture estimated artificial intelligent systems could add up to a whopping – and borderline unbelievable – £654bn (US$802bn) to the British economy by 2035. Well, you've gotta …
Graduate student Seongjun Park holds an example of a new flexible fiber

MIT goes down to the wire: Brain cable pipes electricity, chemicals, light straight into minds

MIT brain boffins have developed a tiny fiber that can carry chemical, electrical, and optical signals back and forth between the brain and an external device, offering an improved path for testing brain functions and interactions. The fiber is 200 micrometers wide, comparable to the width of a human hair. Described in a paper …
Thomas Claburn, 23 Feb 2017

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