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Experts: North Korea training teams of “cyber warriors”

March 24, 2013 4:55 pm | by Youkyung Lee, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Malware shut down 32,000 computers and servers at three major South Korean TV networks and three banks last Wednesday, disrupting communications and banking businesses, officials said. Investigators have yet to pinpoint the culprit, but the focus remains fixed on North Korea, where South Korean security experts say Pyongyang has been training a team of computer-savvy "cyber warriors" as cyberspace becomes a fertile battleground in the standoff between the two Koreas.

Cyberwar manual lays down rules for online attacks

March 20, 2013 10:01 am | by Raphael Satter, Associated Press | News | Comments

Even cyberwar has rules, and one group of experts is putting out a manual to prove it. Their handbook, the Tallinn Manual, due to be published later this week, applies the practice of international law to the world of electronic warfare in an effort to show how hospitals, civilians and neutral nations can be protected in an information-age fight.

Sequoia supercomputer sets simulation record

March 19, 2013 4:09 pm | News | Comments

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have recently performed a record number of simulations using all 1,572,864 cores of Sequoia, the largest supercomputer in the world. The simulations are the largest particle-in-cell (PIC) code simulations by number of cores ever performed. PIC simulations are used extensively in plasma physics to model the motion of the charged particles

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Laser-like photons signal major step towards quantum “Internet”

March 19, 2013 3:47 pm | News | Comments

A variety of solid-state systems are currently being investigated as candidates for quantum bits of information, or qubits. One such qubit, a quantum dot, is made of semiconductor nanocrystals embedded in a chip, but the quality of photons generated from solid-state qubits can be low due to decoherence. Now, researchers in the U.K. have generated single photons with tailored properties from solid-state devices that are identical in quality to lasers

Project aims to manage traffic in California using data

March 19, 2013 10:56 am | by Gordy Slack, CITRIS | News | Comments

Two California urban areas have the dubious distinction of being tied for second-worst traffic in the country. Commuters spend 61 hours per year being stuck in traffic in the Bay Area and in Los Angeles. A new project called Connected Corridors, led by University of California, Berkeley, is developing new technologies that will help Caltrans gather and analyze traffic data to make real-time whole-system traffic management recommendations

Carnegie Mellon, NSA seek high school hackers

March 18, 2013 9:10 am | by Kevin Begos, Associated Press | News | Comments

One of the government's top spy agencies, the National Security Agency, has teamed with Carnegie Mellon University to interest high school students in a game of computer hacking. Their goal with "Toaster Wars" is to cultivate the nation's next generation of cyber warriors. The free, online "high school hacking competition" is scheduled to run from April 26 to May 6, and any U.S. student or team in grades six through 12 can apply and participate.

Steganography is no laughing matter

March 12, 2013 3:47 pm | News | Comments

Encrypting a message with a strong code is the only safe way to keep your communications secret, but it will be obvious to anyone seeing such a message that the sender is hiding something. Steganography, on the other hand, can hide a secret message in plain sight, using binary numbers, for example. Researchers, however, now suggest that instead of using a humdrum text document and modifying it in a codified way to embed a secret message, correspondents could use a joke to hide their true meaning.

Mechdyne licenses CAVE2 from University of Illinois at Chicago

March 12, 2013 9:27 am | News | Comments

Mechdyne Corporation has recently announced that it has licensed the CAVE2 hybrid reality environment developed by the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at University of Illinois at Chicago. The licensing agreement was signed in January of 2013, and continues the strong working relationship that began in 1994 when Mechdyne licensed the EVL-designed original CAVE technology. 

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Interactive Mathematics Initiative

March 8, 2013 3:55 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Maplesoft has announced a major new initiative to support teaching and learning. The Möbius Project is designed to help users create rich, interactive mathematical applications, share them with everyone, and grade them to assess understanding.

Engineers boost efficiency of cloud computing infrastructure

March 8, 2013 10:16 am | News | Comments

Computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego, and Google have developed a novel approach that allows the massive infrastructure powering cloud computing as much as 15 to 20% more efficiently. This novel model has already been applied at Google.

Serial Communication Board

March 7, 2013 3:56 pm | Product Releases | Comments

ACCES I/O Products, Inc. has announced the release of a new family of PCI-104 serial communication boards—the 104I-COM-8SM Series. These PCI-104 boards feature a selection of 8, 4, or 2-ports of field selectable RS-232, RS-422, and RS-485 asynchronous serial protocols on a port by port basis.

The future of ion traps

March 7, 2013 3:40 pm | by E. Edwards, JQI | News | Comments

Trapped atomic ions are a promising architecture that satisfies many of the critical requirements for constructing a quantum computer. Scientists who hope to push the capabilities of ion traps even further using cryogenics have recently published a report in Science that speculates on ion trap technology as a scalable option for quantum information processing.

EU fines Microsoft $733M for breaking browser pact

March 7, 2013 9:18 am | by Toby Sterling, Associated Press | News | Comments

The European Union has fined Microsoft €561 million ($733 million) for breaking a pledge to offer personal computer users a choice of Internet browsers when they install the company's flagship Windows operating system. The penalty imposed by the EU's executive arm, the Commission, is a first for Brussels: no company has ever failed to keep its end of a bargain with EU authorities before.

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Big data: Searching in large amounts of data quickly and efficiently

March 1, 2013 2:28 pm | News | Comments

The term "big data" is defined as a huge amount of digital information, so big and so complex that normal database technology cannot process it. The open-source software framework Apache Hadoop is a user-friendly approach for accessing vast amounts of data, but it is not able to query big datasets as efficiently as database systems that are designed for parallel processing. Researchers have recently introduced an aggressive indexing library for Hadoop that answers queries up to 100 times faster.

Maplesoft project for Toyota leverages symbolic computation

February 6, 2013 8:30 am | News | Comments

Maplesoft this week announced that its ongoing partnership with Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. has been expanded to include the use of new symbolic computation methods in control systems engineering. The new research will allow developers to consider system nonlinearities, modeling inaccuracies, and parametric uncertainties in the design process, helping Toyota shorten development time while maintaining high quality results.

Researchers achieve breakthrough in spin storage

February 1, 2013 12:21 pm | News | Comments

An international team of researchers affiliated with Göttingen University in Germany has found a way to store vast amounts of data—up to one petabyte—per square inch. The scientists developed a unique molecule with an exploitable electron that carries a spin. This serves as the memory for their electronic device, which can be read out by a magnetic reference electrode at room temperature.

Winners of annual NSF visualization competition announced

February 1, 2013 12:03 pm | News | Comments

The National Science Foundation (NSF), along with the journal Science, this week announced the 53 winners and honorable mentions of the International Science & Technology Visualization Challenge, a contest jointly sponsored by NSF and the joournal Science. The winning entries highlight the often stunning capabilities of computer-aided visualization techniques.

IBM sends Watson to N.Y. college to boost its skills

January 30, 2013 8:42 am | by Michael Hill, Associated Press | News | Comments

Watson, the supercomputer famous for beating the world's best human "Jeopardy!" champions, is going to college. IBM today says it will provide a Watson system to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the first time the computer is being sent to a university. Just like the flesh-and-blood students who will work on it, Watson is leaving home to sharpen its skills.

Grammar undercuts security of long computer passwords

January 24, 2013 12:14 pm | News | Comments

Good grammar helps people make themselves be understood. But when used to concoct a long computer password, grammar provides crucial hints that can help someone crack that password. Carnegie Mellon University researchers have recently demonstrated this fact by developing a grammar-aware password-cracking algorithm that surpassed the capabilities of other state-of-the-art password crackers.

Dow opens innovation center at the University of Illinois

January 16, 2013 7:29 am | News | Comments

The Dow Innovation Center, a new research facility to be located at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, has recently been announced by Dow and will develop data management solutions. At the same time, Dow has entered into an industry partnership with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, providing access to expertise and equipment which will accelerate Dow’s discovery processes.

Race is on for EU's $1.3 billion science projects

January 15, 2013 11:01 am | by Frank Jordans, Associated Press | News | Comments

Teams of scientists from across Europe are vying for a funding bonanza that could see two of them receive more than a billion dollars over 10 years to keep the continent at the cutting edge of technology. The contest began with 26 proposals, and just four have made it to the final round, including a plan to develop digital guardian angels, an accurate model of the human brain, and better ways to produce and use graphene.

New forecast system helps transoceanic flights avoid storms

December 12, 2012 9:00 am | News | Comments

A new NASA-funded prototype system developed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research now is providing weather forecasts that can help flights avoid major storms as they travel over remote ocean regions. The eight-hour forecasts of potentially dangerous atmospheric conditions are designed for pilots, air traffic controllers and others involved in transoceanic flights.

Virtual reality system is key to medical discovery

December 11, 2012 12:31 pm | News | Comments

Because of the limited image spatial-resolution of even today's best-quality laptop and desktop computers, researchers and physicians often can’t see phenomena that are too large, too small, too complex, or too distant. CAVE2, a next-generation, large-scale virtual environment, combines the benefits of scalable-resolution display walls with virtual-reality system to create a revealing and seamless 2D and 3D environment that is becoming increasingly important in scientific discovery.

IBM's silicon nanophotonics chip ready to move from lab to fab

December 10, 2012 10:13 am | News | Comments

After more than a decade of research, chip engineers at IBM Research have built a scalable, fab-ready microchip that successfully integrates a complete optical package built from silicon. This silicon nanophotonics breakthrough allows the new chip, which is built on an existing high-performance 90-nm CMOS fabrication line, to exceed a transceiver data rate of 25 Gbps per channel.

Naval welding technique crosses over to computers

December 7, 2012 9:11 am | News | Comments

Apple’s newest iMac computer line, which went on sale last week, has something in common with world of shipbuilding. Refined for use in constructing vessels by the Office of Naval Research, friction-stir welding is responsible for the enabling the design of the iMacs. The process uses heat and pressure to join metals, and is used to achieve an extra-thin aluminum-bodied computer.

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