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Oct 11, 2016

Quantum Computing Could Cripple Encryption; Bitcoin’s Role

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, business, cybercrime/malcode, encryption, government, quantum physics

Earlier this week, Canada’s electronic spy agency the Communications Security Establishment warned government agencies and businesses against quantum mechanics, which could cripple the majority of encryption methods implemented by leading corporations and agencies globally.

Governments and private companies employ a variety of cryptographic security systems and protocols to protect and store important data. Amongst these encryption methods, the most popular system is public key cryptography (PKC), which can be integrated onto a wide range of software, platforms, and applications to encrypt data.

The Communications Security Establishment and its chief Greta Bossenmaier believes that quantum computing is technically capable of targeting PKC-based encryption methods, making data vulnerable to security breaches and hacking attempts from foreign state spies and anonymous hacking groups.

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Oct 11, 2016

Quantum Information Processing Near Spinning Black Holes

Posted by in categories: cosmology, quantum physics

Spinning black holes are capable of complex quantum information processes encoded in the X-ray photons.

The black holes sparked the public imagination for almost 100 years. Their presence in the universe has been long debated; however, the detection of X-ray radiation coming from the center of the galaxies, a feature of black holes, has put an end to the discussion and undoubtedly proven their existence.

The vast majority, if not all, of the known black holes were unveiled by detecting the X-ray radiation emitted by the stellar material accreting around them. Accretion disks emit X-ray radiation, light with high energy, due to the extreme gravity in the vicinity of black holes. X-ray photons emitted near rotating black holes not only exposed the existence of these phantom-like astrophysical bodies, but also seem to carry hidden quantum messages.

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Oct 11, 2016

Launched: A Synthetic Biology Factory for Making Weird New Organisms

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, robotics/AI

Need a yeast that spits out rose oil? The synthetic biology company Ginkgo Bioworks is on it.

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Oct 11, 2016

Caverlee, Hu receive DARPA grant to fill in the gaps of spatial-temporal datasets

Posted by in category: information science

Image of James CaverleeThe Defense Sciences Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Dr. James Caverlee and Dr. Xia “Ben” Hu a Next Generation Social Science (NGS2) grant to complete their collaborative research project, HELIOS, named after the Greek god with the ability to see the invisible.

Along with being a part of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s (TEES) Center for Digital Libraries, Caverlee is an associate professor and Hu is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University.

The HELIOS project aims to create new computational methods and algorithms to fill in the gaps of rapidly evolving spatial-temporal datasets, which are datasets that measure both space and time. These types of datasets are generally missing information, which prohibit accurate assessments of time and location.

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Oct 11, 2016

The Pentagon Wants to Use Bitcoin Technology to Guard Nuclear Weapons

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, military

Blockchain can’t stop unauthorized access, but it could help lessen the damage.

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Oct 11, 2016

The future of brain and machine is intertwined, and it’s already here

Posted by in categories: futurism, neuroscience

Imagine a condition that leaves you fully conscious, but unable to move or communicate, as some victims of severe strokes or other neurological damage experience.

This is locked-in syndrome, when the outward connections from the brain to the rest of the world are severed. Technology is beginning to promise ways of remaking these connections, but is it our ingenuity or the brain’s that is making it happen?

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Oct 11, 2016

Brain modulyzer provides interactive window into the brain

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, neuroscience

For the first time, a new tool developed at the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) allows researchers to interactively explore the hierarchical processes that happen in the brain when it is resting or performing tasks. Scientists also hope that the tool can shed some light on how neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s spread throughout the brain.

Created in conjunction with computer scientists at University of California, Davis (UC Davis) and with input from neuroscientists at UC San Francisco (UCSF), the software, called Brain Modulyzer, combines multiple coordinated views of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data — like heat maps, node link diagrams and anatomical views — to provide context for brain connectivity data.

“The tool provides a novel framework of visualization and new interaction techniques that explore the brain connectivity at various hierarchical levels. This method allows researchers to explore multipart observations that have not been looked at before,” says Sugeerth Murugesan, who co-led the development of Brain Modulyzer. He is currently a graduate student researcher at Berkeley Lab and a PhD candidate at UC Davis.

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Oct 11, 2016

China developing world’s smallest nuclear reactor for South China sea islands: report

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

China is developing the world’s smallest nuclear power plant which could be installed in one of the islands in the disputed South China Sea to supply power to households and is capable of running for up to decades without refuelling, a media report said on Tuesday.

Modelled on the compact lead-cooled thermal reactor used by the navy of the former Soviet Union in its nuclear submarines in the 1970s, Chinese researchers are carrying out intensive work to develop “portable nuclear battery pack” within five years, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

Earlier, the official media reports said China will soon start assembling floating maritime nuclear power platforms.

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Oct 11, 2016

Scholars call for probe into genome editing technology claims

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, innovation

Chinese biologists reiterate doubts over validity of genome editing study

A number of Chinese scientists have announced publicly that they cannot replicate the breakthrough genome editing technology NgAgo discovered by a Hebei-based researcher, Han Chunyu, urging to investigate his team for the sake of “reputation of Chinese scientists.”

After months of study, 13 biologists including Wei Wensheng and Sun Yujie from Peking University’s School of Life Science, and other biologists from prestigious institutes such as the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhejiang University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University, said publicly that they cannot replicate Han’s results, and called on Han to publicize his raw data.

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Oct 11, 2016

Russia’s Preference for Open-Source to Hurt U.S. Tech Stocks

Posted by in categories: business, government, law

Amid rising political tensions with the U.S., Russia is planning to further lower its usage of licensed software from IT giants like International Business Machines Corp IBM, Microsoft Corporation MSFT, SAP AG SAP and Oracle Corporation ORCL.

Per Bloomberg, “The State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, is drafting a bill to restrict government agencies from buying licensed software, giving preference to open-source software.”

The proposed law is an addition to an already existing federal law that came into effect on Jan 1, 2016, which restricts the use of foreign software in the public sector, if there is a domestic version available.

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