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Sep 22, 2016

DARPA perfects hacker-proof computer code

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, drones, internet, mathematics, military

When the project started, a “Red Team” of hackers could have taken over the helicopter almost as easily as it could break into your home Wi-Fi. But in the intervening months, engineers from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) had implemented a new kind of security mechanism — a software system that couldn’t be commandeered. Key parts of Little Bird’s computer system were unhackable with existing technology, its code as trustworthy as a mathematical proof. Even though the Red Team was given six weeks with the drone and more access to its computing network than genuine bad actors could ever expect to attain, they failed to crack Little Bird’s defenses.

“They were not able to break out and disrupt the operation in any way,” said Kathleen Fisher, a professor of computer science at Tufts University and the founding program manager of the High-Assurance Cyber Military Systems (HACMS) project. “That result made all of DARPA stand up and say, oh my goodness, we can actually use this technology in systems we care about.”

The technology that repelled the hackers was a style of software programming known as formal verification. Unlike most computer code, which is written informally and evaluated based mainly on whether it works, formally verified software reads like a mathematical proof: Each statement follows logically from the next. An entire program can be tested with the same certainty that mathematicians prove theorems.

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Sep 22, 2016

Mach Effect Propulsion Theory Updates

Posted by in categories: information science, particle physics, space travel

Theory of a mach effect thruster I

The Mach Effect Thruster (MET) is a propellant—less space drive which uses Mach’s principle to produce thrust in an accelerating material which is undergoing mass—energy fluctuations. Mach’s principle is a statement that the inertia of a body is the result of the gravitational interaction of the body with the rest of the mass-energy in the universe. The MET device uses electric power of 100 — 200 Watts to operate. The thrust produced by these devices, at the present time, are small on the order of a few micro-Newtons. Researchers give a physical description of the MET device and apparatus for measuring thrusts. Next they explain the basic theory behind the device which involves gravitation and advanced waves to incorporate instantaneous action at a distance. The advanced wave concept is a means to conserve momentum of the system with the universe. There is no momentun violation in this theory. We briefly review absorber theory by summarizing Dirac, Wheeler-Feynman and Hoyle-Narlikar (HN). They show how Woodward’s mass fluctuation formula can be derived from first principles using the HN-theory which is a fully Machian version of Einstein’s relativity. HN-theory reduces to Einstein’s field equations in the limit of smooth fluid distribution of matter and a simple coordinate transformation.

It is shown that if Mach’s Principle is taken seriously, and the inertia of a body can be described as the interaction of the body with the rest of the universe, then the advanced and retarded fields transmitted between the particle and the universe can be used to explain the thrust observed in the Mach Effect drive experiments. This idea was originally put forward by one of the authors, James Woodward. The idea of inertia being a gravitational effect was first postulated by Einstein. In fact Mach’s principle was the foundation on which Einstein’s general relativity was based.

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Sep 21, 2016

The Sooner You Expose A Baby To A Second Language, The Smarter They’ll Be

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Just hearing two languages helps babies develop cognitive skills before they even speak. Here’s how — and how you can help them develop those skills.

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Sep 21, 2016

Wireless at the Fringe – Of Human Intranets, Brain-Machine Interfaces and Enhanced Humans

Posted by in categories: health, neuroscience

Alan gatherer, editor in chief, comsoc technology news

After their article a couple of months ago, I asked the good folks at BWRC to expand on the work they are doing in implantable electronics, as well as its potential health implications. BWRC’s approach focuses not only on functionality but on battery-free, extreme miniaturization and wireless access for very specific quantification of the host health. They also point us toward a future where such devices might link up and literally talk about you behind (as well as under and inside) your back. Hope you enjoy, and comments as always are welcome.

Jan M. Rabaey and Rikky Muller, BWRC.

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Sep 21, 2016

Synthego Announces First-of-its-kind CRISPR Kit

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

Synthego, the stealthy genome engineering startup, has announced its release of the world’s first single guide RNA (sgRNA) kit for use in CRISPR/Cas9 editing. The kit is one of several CRISPR genome editing products in the company’s flagship portfolio, known as CRISPRevolution, that was debuted in August of this year.

The importance of the kits within the larger scope of CRISPR genome editing was emphasized by Synthego CEO Paul Dabrowski in his comments on the announcement. “Our kits make world-class genome engineering tools accessible to all scientists,” he said. “They accelerate research and adoption of CRISPR to help make it a standard lab technique. By drastically reducing the time to begin a CRISPR experiment with our rapid turnaround, improving gene editing quality and consistency, and bringing the cost down, we’re closing the gap between CRISPR’s full potential and what’s possible in the lab today.”

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Sep 21, 2016

How ‘superforecasters’ think about the future — Faye Flam

Posted by in category: futurism

SEPTEMBER 15 — When it comes to making forecasts — whether it’s predicting the outcome of an election or determining whether a marriage will last — what good is intuition? Can our gut instincts guide us to correct outcomes, or are they too unreliable to be useful in a world ruled by data?

People can use intuition to make remarkably accurate predictions, social scientists have shown. In an experiment published earlier this year, for example, psychologists found that call-centre employees speaking with registered voters a week before an election could foresee with surprising accuracy which ones would flake out on their plans to vote. “It’s surprising to me because it’s such a short exchange for callers to be able to make useful inferences about whether respondents are actually going to do what they say,” the lead researcher, Todd Rogers, told me when the study was published. He cited other studies where ordinary people showed extraordinary abilities to intuit others’ personality traits, sexual orientation and racial attitudes.

At the same time, unconscious judgments can be contaminated with biases. Psychologist Daniel Kahneman laid out many of the perils of gut instinct in his 2011 best-seller “Thinking, Fast and Slow.” Among them are anchoring (being overly influenced by the first information you receive), hindsight bias (wrongly believing past events were predictable or predetermined), and the availability heuristic (giving too much weight to what you already know and not enough to what you know you need to look up).

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Sep 21, 2016

$600M Chan Zuckerberg ‘Biohub’ led by UCSF, UC Berkeley announced

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, innovation

Interesting for sure.


Two UCs and Stanford partner in a new research center focused on biotechnology and life sciences innovation.

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Sep 21, 2016

Passive Liquid Flow Can Aid Nanotechnology Development, Study Suggests

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, nanotechnology, particle physics

Again organic nature teaches technology.


A new study, inspired by water’s movement from roots to leaves in tall trees, shows that a certain kind of passive liquid flow, where liquids naturally move in response to surface atomic interactions instead of being driven by external forces like pumps, is remarkably strong. By virtually modeling the way atoms interact at a solid surface, College of Engineering and Computer Science researchers suggest that passive liquid flow could serve as a highly efficient coolant-delivery mechanism without the need for pumps. The results, published in Langmuir, also have implications for the development of new nanoscale technology.

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Sep 21, 2016

Diamond microdisk “with huge potential” for quantum computing

Posted by in categories: computing, nanotechnology, quantum physics

The diamond microdisk made by Paul Barclay and his team of physicists could lead to huge advances in computing, telecommunications, and other fields.

Barclay and his research group — part of the University of Calgary’s Institute for Quantum Science and Technology and the National Institute of Nanotechnology — have made the first-ever nano-sized optical resonator (or optical cavity) from a single crystal of diamond that is also a mechanical resonator.

The team also measured — in the coupling of light and mechanical motion in the device — the high-frequency, long-lasting mechanical vibrations caused by the energy of light trapped and bouncing inside the diamond microdisk optical cavity.

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Sep 21, 2016

Quantum Internet Moves Closer Thanks To Researchers

Posted by in categories: internet, quantum physics

A team of physicists has successfully carried out the teleportation of a proton in research that could lead to a quantum internet.

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