Items tagged with Research

A new study has found something very disturbing on some of the top websites in the world. Researchers from the Princeton Center for Information Technology Policy have conducted research that found that over 400 of the top 50,000 websites in the world are using "session replay scripts" to track user behavior. This practice is common and the real problem with these websites according to the researchers is that the sites are often not stripping out personally identifiable user information from the data the scripts glean. The researchers are concerned that this sort of session data is a potential treasure... Read more...
Anyone around back in the '80s when rabbit ears were the main way of tuning in to your favorite shows will know that foil improved reception. A group of researchers has now found that we can apply similar tech to our WiFi routers. The team of researchers used a 3D printer to produce a cheap and customized reflector that directs wireless signals in the direction you need them most. The solution might be just what is needed for enhancing signal strength in certain areas of a home or office. "Through this single solution, we address a number of challenges that plague wireless users," said Xia Zhou,... Read more...
If you spend any amount of time on the Internet, you have certainly run across CAPTCHA on a few occasions. CAPTCHA is the security device that forces you to read squiggly words and type them into the box to prove you are a person and not a spamming robot sent from the future to troll forums and steal all of our memes. The schtick for CAPTCHA is that computer programs can't read the words, but that is no longer true. AI has been created that is able to defeat CAPTCHA security meaning all our memes aren't safe after all. The AI was inspired by a human brain, specifically the human visual cortex.... Read more...
It's hard for many of us to trust the studies that seem to come out on a daily basis covering a variety of topics. You can find studies on the same subject that come down on completely different sides of the topic depending on who funded them. You might expect a study commissioned by the European Commission (EC) to be made public no matter what the results were, but that certainly wasn't the case with an EC study conducted back in 2015 looking into a link between digital piracy and the decline in legal sales. Why was the report unpublished to the public for two years? The reason is simple: The... Read more...
Researchers from the Université de Montréal have published a study that found certain types of video games resulted in the loss of grey matter in the brain, while other types of video games resulted in an increase. Specifically, the study claims that gamers who frequently play first person shooter type video games like Call of Duty, Killzone, and Borderlands 2 lose grey matter mass in their brain. Researchers say that in FPS gamers, the grey matter mass loss occurs in the hippocampus, an area of the brain that the scientists say is critical to healthy cognition. On the other hand, the study... Read more...
At its core, Minecraft is a game. It's designed to be fun, immersive, and challenging. But as we've seen in recent years, it can become a lot more than just a game, thanks in part to its extreme modularity. Especially with the introduction of the Redstone block, we've seen people create everything from calculators to conveyor belts to printers. With Minecraft, the sky really is the limit. So too is the potential of the game itself, it seems. Despite its modest graphics and extremely blocky nature, Microsoft sees great things coming from Minecraft. While some might just want to chop down a tree... Read more...
The amount of research that goes on inside of Google's walls (and out) at any given time is nothing short of amazing. You can be sure much of that research revolves around the mobile market, as its Android operating system didn't reach super stardom through sheer luck. With its latest move, however, Google is really taking its mobile research to heart. In fact, Google employees will soon be boarding a company van and taking a six-week trip across the United States in an attempt to lure folks in to provide their valuable insight and feedback on Google products. On the side of this van is a... Read more...
A group of French and American scientists publishing in the science journal Nature are reporting success in their attempt to develop software that allows damaged robots to quickly overcome many sustained injuries and continue with their tasks.  A major problem in robotics has long been the inability of the machines to deal with unexpected circumstances, and in the case of damage suffered in the performing of their duties, they will usually just ignore the problem and thus make the it all the worse. Now, though, with inspiration drawn from nature itself, the scientists... Read more...
At this point, the resetting of a mobile phone to a from-the-factory state is something we have all done, perhaps simply to get a fresh start with a device that has become sluggish and over-burdened with years of downloaded flotsam. But more likely, we do it for the purpose of selling the phone or passing it along to a friend or family member. We rely on such a reset to completely wipe the phone of any trace of our having used it, all settings and sensitive data. The results of a study performed in the UK by University of Cambridge researchers entitled Security Analysis of Android... Read more...
Anyone who has driven an Android smartphone any distance whatsoever has no doubt wondered whether any of the apps they use could be serving as information conduits. The relaxed vetting process that the Google Play Store has in place ('relaxed' versus the jailer-esque process in use by those minding Apple's app store) results in their stocking all but the most obviously malicious apps, after all, so a little suspicion in the mix just makes sense. So is this neat new Find Parking app that just asked for location privileges pushing data on my movements into some database somewhere? Will personal... Read more...
Leaving the realm of science fiction behind, the super-fast charging mobile phone is inching its way ever more closer to science-fact. As reported in Stanford Magazine in advance of publication this week in the journal Nature, researchers at Stanford University have developed a high-performance aluminum-ion battery that can recharge in about a minute and do so thousands of times without significant loss of capacity. And along with being faster to charge and more durable, the new battery is also much safer than the lithium-ion batteries so many of us currently carry around these days in the mobile... Read more...
At long last, Pixar has finally made good on a promise they made last year to release Free Non-Commercial RenderMan. The software is a full-feature version of the company's RenderMan software that anyone can install and use for purposes of research, education, evaluation, plug-in development, and personal projects that do not generate a commercial profit. And Free Non-Commercial RenderMan is without limitations, too, such as watermarking, time limits, data volume, or any other such restrictions. Pixar's RenderMan software release features the company's new RIS rendering paradigm,... Read more...
In setting up a new lab, a group of research students at Purdue University were inspired to come up with a way to put the huge amount of packing peanuts they were receiving to good use. At the suggestion of Professor Vilas Pol, the researchers developed a potential new eco-friendly application for rendering the packaging waste into lithium-ion battery anodes.Lithium-ion batteries have two electrodes, a cathode and an anode. The anode harnesses the lithium ions (which are contained in an electrolyte solution) during recharging. Today most lithium-ion battery anodes are made of graphite, however... Read more...
If there's one man who understands all the potential of artificial intelligence, it's Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk. You might recall that this past fall, we wrote about one of Musk's comments regarding how future AI developments could lead us to "[summon] the demon". Quite simply, we don't want a "Skynet" to happen. In the 80s, the mere thought of that would have sounded ridiculous, but today? Things have certainly changed.Elon Musk stares at a robot at Tesla'a manufacturing facility in Fremont, California (Source: Steve Jurvetson) Musk is now willing... Read more...
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