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Technology News - New Technology, Internet News, Software, Semiconductor, Telecom, Computer Science



Phys.org provides the latest news on technology, software, computer science, internet, semiconductor, telecom and science technology.



 



Facebook hits two billion user mark

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 13:36:42 EDT

Facebook said Tuesday its ranks of monthly active users had hit the two billion mark—meaning more than a quarter of the world's population is on the giant social network.



Ransomware, the weapon wielded in cyber attacks

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 13:30:01 EDT

Ransomware demands which hit a clutch of multinationals Tuesday are the latest in a wave of international cyberattacks in recent months.



Multibillion-dollar contract for Los Alamos lab up for bid (Update)

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 13:24:46 EDT

The competition for a multibillion-dollar contract to manage the U.S. laboratory that created the atomic bomb is beginning as criticism intensifies over the troubled safety record of Los Alamos National Laboratory.



Chernobyl's radiation monitoring hit by cyberattack: spokeswoman

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 13:21:47 EDT

The radiation monitoring system at Ukraine's Chernobyl nuclear site has been taken offline after a massive cyberattack, forcing employees to use hand-held counters to measure levels, officials said Tuesday.



Multinationals hit by vast wave of cyberattacks

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 12:40:01 EDT

Several multinational companies said Tuesday they were targeted in a massive wave of cyberattacks which started in Russia and Ukraine before spreading to western Europe.



Israeli spy agency creates fund to invest in tech firms

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 12:29:54 EDT

Israel's Mossad spy agency is starting a fund to invest in technology firms creating products that could assist its work, including those involving robotics and encryption, the prime minister's office said Tuesday.



Discrimination, lack of diversity, and societal risks of data mining highlighted in big data

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 12:16:52 EDT

A special issue of Big Data presents a series of insightful articles that focus on Big Data and Social and Technical Trade-Offs. Despite the dramatic growth in big data affecting many areas of research, industry, and society, there are risks associated with the design and use of data-driven systems. Among these are issues of discrimination, diversity, and bias, which are discussed in the papers in the special issue organized by Guest Editors Solon Barocas, Princeton University, danah boyd, Microsoft Research and Data & Society Research Institute, Sorelle Friedler, Haverford College, and Hanna Wallach, Microsoft Research and University of Massachusetts Amherst.



Adaptive cyber security decision support to prevent cyber attacks

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 11:58:08 EDT

Recognising the complexity of cyber attacks and the multi-stakeholder nature of tackling cyber security are the key components of a new data-driven cyber security system being developed by experts led by the University of Nottingham. The aim is to support organisations of all sizes in maintaining adequate levels of cyber security through a semi-automatic, regularly updated, organisation-tailored security assessment of their digital infrastructures.



Israel security chief: Agency strikes back at online hackers

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 11:54:14 EDT

Israel's security chief says his agency, the Shin Bet, has gone on the offensive against hackers trying to carry out cyberattacks against Israel on the internet.



Facebook now deleting 66K posts a week in anti-hate campaign

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 11:17:54 EDT

Facebook said Tuesday that it deleted about 66,000 posts a week in the last two months as the social media giant cracks down on what it deems to be hate speech.



Can Amazon get shoppers to buy groceries online?

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 11:00:02 EDT

A giant in the technology industry had a bold idea: reinvent the way people shop, rendering grocery stores a quaint reminder of the past.



Pandora CEO out in shake-up at internet radio pioneer (Update)

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 10:30:00 EDT

Pandora co-founder Tim Westergren on Tuesday stepped down as chief executive and from the board of directors, as the internet radio pioneer strives to win more listeners in the face of competition from Apple and Spotify.



Computer scientists design flat sheets that transform themselves into smooth-surfaced, free-form objects

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 10:17:25 EDT

3D printers have been around since the 1980s, but we are still far from maximizing their potential. One active area of research and development is "self-actuating" objects: flat materials that transform themselves through material forces into the desired 3D object. Previously, however, the range of objects was limited to those with sharp edges and little, if any, curvature, and the transformation methods were based primarily on folding or processes that could not be controlled very precisely (e.g. chemical reactions or inflation). Now, for the first time, a group of current and former IST Austria computer scientists have made it possible to create self-actuating, smooth, free-form objects. In so doing, they developed both an ingenious material design and a new method of self-transformation—they call the fruits of their innovation "CurveUps". Moreover, the team, which consists of Ruslan Guseinov, Eder Miguel, and Bernd Bickel, developed the computational tools to take a user-provided 3D model and automatically create a 2D flattened template that, upon release, transforms into the original 3D version.



Uber makes it easier to arrange trips for other riders

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 10:11:16 EDT

Uber's ride-hailing app is making it easier for its users to set up trips for seniors and others who may not know their way around a smartphone but still need help getting around town.



New cyberattack wallops Europe; spreads more slowly in US (Update 2)

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 10:09:58 EDT

A new and highly virulent outbreak of data-scrambling software caused disruption across the world Tuesday. Following a similar attack in May , the fresh assault paralyzed some hospitals, government offices and major multinational corporations in a dramatic demonstration of how easily malicious programs can bring daily life to a halt.



Why don't my document photos rotate correctly?

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 10:07:16 EDT

John, an insurance planner, took several photos of a competitors' new brochures. At a meeting, he opened a photo gallery to discuss the documents with his colleagues. He found, however, that the photos of the document had the wrong orientation; they had been rotated in 90 degrees clockwise. He then rotated his phone 90 degrees counterclockwise, but the document photos also rotated at the same time. After trying this several times, he realized that it was impossible to display the document photos correctly on his phone. Instead, he had to set his phone down on a table and move his chair to show the photos in the correct orientation. It was very frustrating for John and his colleagues, because the document photos had different patterns of orientation errors.



Energy program on chopping block, but new data suggest it works

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 09:30:02 EDT

Do energy efficiency "audits" really benefit companies over time? An interdisciplinary team of Duke researchers (economist Gale Boyd, statistician Jerome "Jerry" Reiter, and doctoral student Nicole Dalzell) have been tackling this question as it applies to a long-running Department of Energy (DOE) effort that is slated for elimination under President Trump's proposed budget.



Why a 'cashless' society would hurt the poor—a lesson from India

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 08:41:42 EDT

India recently tried to reduce the use of cash in its economy by eliminating, overnight, two of its most widely used bills in what was called demonetization.



Record-setting seismic simulations run on the Cori supercomputer

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 08:33:41 EDT

Record-setting seismic simulations run earlier this year on the Cori supercomputer at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) were the subject of two presentations at the ISC High Performance conference in Frankfurt, Germany this week.



New research finds potential for greater retrofit energy savings in homes

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 08:24:54 EDT

New research reveals the actual heat loss from suspended timber ground floors might be nearly twice that of previous estimates and the potential for thermally upgrading such floors is much greater than formerly expected.



Saving the planet with flexible electronics

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 06:40:01 EDT

"My research on organic photovoltaic (OPVs) devices reflects my fascination with electronic gadgets and concerns about the environment," says Varun Vohra, tenure-track assistant professor at the Department of Engineering Science, UEC, Tokyo. "So I want to save the planet with flexible electronics."



Prosthetic limbs made user-friendly with polymer based elastic sensors

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 06:30:02 EDT

Prostheses are used to replace body parts damaged through trauma or congenital deficiencies. A wide range of prosthetic limbs exist including myoelectric prostheses that operate by so-called surface electromyography (sEMG), where pulses of electrical voltage from muscles are relayed to sensors when users want to initiate a movement. However, a major problem limit the application of such prosthetic devices is the instability of the electrical signals measured.



EU fines Google a record 2.4 billion euros in antitrust case (Update)

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 06:25:19 EDT

After a seven-year legal battle, European authorities came down hard on Google on Tuesday for taking advantage of its dominance in online searches to direct customers to its own businesses, fining the tech giant a record 2.42 billion euros ($2.72 billion) and raising the prospect of more.



Inference of Bayesian networks made fast and easy using an extended depth-first search algorithm

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 06:10:01 EDT

A Bayesian network is a directed acyclic graph (DAG) or a probabilistic graphical model used by statisticians. Vertices of this model represent different variables. Any connections between variables indicate a conditional dependency and a lack of connections implies a lack of it.



Method assesses instructor performance in 'freeform classroom'

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 06:03:41 EDT

Engineering education researchers have developed a method to assess the effectiveness of instructors who are using an innovative teaching approach that could play a role in boosting the number and quality of engineering graduates.



A robotic doctor is gearing up for action

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 05:30:18 EDT

A robotic doctor that can be controlled hundreds of kilometres away by a human counterpart is gearing up for action.



Printed solar cells thinner than your hair could power your phone

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 04:25:14 EDT

Extremely thin printable solar panels could power your phone and are amongst a range of new ways nanotechnology is opening the door to a clean energy and waste-free future.



China agrees to fight corporate hacking in Canada

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 02:31:49 EDT

China has pledged not to carry out state-sponsored cyberattacks against the intellectual property of Canadian firms, the two sides said Monday.



US tech giants join forces against terror content

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 02:30:18 EDT

Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube announced Monday the launch of an anti-terror partnership aimed at thwarting the spread of extremist content online.



Is Amazon getting too big?

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 23:00:01 EDT

When Amazon made a bid for Whole Foods earlier this month, a company that's been a huge but largely online presence for consumers suddenly seemed to be everywhere, raising the question, "Is it getting too big?"