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PHONES HACKABLE IN 10 SECONDS DUE TO BLUETOOTH VULNERABILITY

September 25, 2017 — Vulnerabilities exposed by the cyber-security firm Armis allow hackers full access to Bluetooth enabled devices. The vulnerabilities can be used to execute remote procedures or carry out Man-in-the-Middle attacks. Researchers at Armis believe many more vulnerabilities have still not been discovered and could potentially be exploited by hackers. Read more here.

IBM SUCCESSFULLY SIMULATES A MOLECULAR STRUCTURE USING ITS QUANTUM COMPUTER

September 19, 2017 — Researchers at IBM have successfully used a quantum computer named IBM Q to simulate the molecular structure of beryllium hydride (BeH2). In order to simulate the molecule in its ground state, the computer has to determine how all electrons in the molecule will interact with the nuclei of the surrounding atoms along with the quantum phenomenon occurring at the molecular scale. The team used a seven qubit chip to simulate the molecule. The beryllium hydride molecule is the most complex molecule ever simulated. Read more here.

CASSINI MISSION COMES TO AN END

September 18, 2017 — The Cassini mission came to an end on the 15th September as the spacecraft incinerated after plunging into Saturn's atmosphere. The mission was launched in 1997 and the spacecraft arrived at Saturn in 2004. The mission also carried the Huygens probe, which landed on Saturn's moon Titan in 2005. The mission was a collaboration of three space agencies: the United States' NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Italian Space Agency (ASI). The Cassini spacecraft was deliberately destroyed in accordance with an international space treaty about derelict spacecraft. Read more about Cassini here.

NEW $240 MILLION CENTER AT MIT TO ADVANCE AI

September 12, 2017 — IBM and MIT have announced a new $240 million project to advance research in deep learning. The new center at MIT will explore new computing devices, materials, and quantum computing to make artifical intelligence (AI) more powerful. IBM and MIT believe there is a lot of potential in hardware improvements and breakthroughs in hardware to further advance AI. Read more here.

RESEARCHERS CREATE ALGORITHM TO HELP TOURISTS EXPLORE LOCATIONS

September 11, 2017 — Researchers from ITMO University have created an algorithm that recommends museums, cafes, and parks to tourists based on photographs taken by locals. The algorithm allows locals to indirectly give advice to tourists.The algorithm can also distinguish between users who are locals and visiting tourists. Based on photographs posted by local users via social networking sites, the algorithm can identify the most popular tourist destinations within the city. Read more here.

RESEARCHERS HELP STROKE PATIENTS RECOVER USING BRAIN COMPUTER INTERFACE

September 5, 2017 — Researchers from the University of Adelaide (Australia) illustrated how a brain-computer interface (BCI) produced a 36% improvement in motor function in stroke patients. A BCI measures electrical signals from the brain, matches them to an action, and provides mechanical feedback to the associated muscles. Stroke patients may be able to improve overall motor functions after special training with a BCI. Read more here.

HIGH SPEED LASER SHOOTER TO HELP SCIENTIST CATURE MOLECULAR MOVEMENTS

September 5, 2017 — The $1.4 billion European X-ray Free Electron Laser(XFEL) located in Germany will begin operation this month. The XFEL can shoot 27,000 laser pulses per second allowing scientists to capture 3,000 good quality images in a single second.The rapid firing rate of XFEL makes it the fastest facility in its category. The wavelength of the laser is short enough to capture pictures at an atomic level. Read more here.

Selfies to screen for pancreatic cancer

September 1, 2017 — Pancreatic cancer is found to kill 90 percent of patients within five years, partially due to the lack of telltale symptoms and non-invasive screening tools to catch a tumor before it spreads. Now, an app from the University of Washington could lead to earlier detection simply by snapping a smartphone selfie. BiliScreen uses a smartphone camera, computer vision algorithms, and machine learning tools to detect increased bilirubin levels in a person's sclera, or the white part of the eye to detect the disease. Read more here.

Solving AI's moving-target search problem

August 31, 2017 — Researchers at IBM Ireland are working on a solution that could one day allow passengers in need of transportation to book intelligent cabs, shared cars or autonomous vehicles that will be able to find them and pick them up at the right time and precise location. They have developed a new moving target algorithm that allows users to keep changing their location as they wish, instead of being forced to wait at a pre-arranged location. The service provider in this scenario also benefits from the ability to minimize running costs such as fuel. Read more here.

ASTRONOMERS PRODUCE SUPER DETAILED IMAGES OF ANTARES

August 29, 2017 — Astronomers have detailed the surface of the star Antares, which is 550 light years from Earth. The images were constructed using the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile. The Very Large Telescope Interferometer combined the images of four telescopes to create an image with a resolution of a single mirror 200 meters wide. The constructed image is the most detailed image of a star other than the Sun. Read more here.

CHINESE RESEARCHERS SUCCESSFULLY ACHIEVE QUANTUM ENTANGLEMENT UNDER WATER

August 29, 2017 — Researchers from Shanghai Jiao Tong University have successfully transmitted quantum entangled photons through water. All previous attempts of transmitting entangled particles have been through air, space and optical fiber. According to the Chinese researchers, quantum entanglement of photons can be established up to a distance of more than 900 meters under water. Such breakthroughs in quantum entanglement can potentially revolutionize our ability to communicate under water. Read more here.

Evaluating quality of stories using AI

August 25, 2017 — With the idea that artificial intelligence will soon be able to understand and even generate narratives, scientists at Disney Research and the University of Massachusetts Boston have developed neural networks that can evaluate short narratives. Read more here.

Decoding human brain signals

August 24, 2017 — In an attempt to revolutionize brain research using ideas from computer science, neuroscientist Dr. Tonio Ball has illustrated a self-learning algorithm capable of decoding human brain signals. Such diverse interactions hold immense importance in the fields of application of biomedical and rehabilitation engineering. Read more here.

RESEARCHERS SUCCESSFULLY INFECT COMPUTER WITH MALWARE ENCODED DNA

August 23, 2017 — In a world first, researchers at the University of Washington have infected a computer with a malicious program coded on a strand of DNA. The team was able to corrupt the software that was sequencing the DNA. The team was trying to uncover security vulnerabilities in the open source software used for DNA transcription and analysis in labs around the world. Read more here.

AI DEVELOPED BY OPENAI BEATS DOTA 2 CHAMPIONS

August 21, 2017 — An AI developed by OpenAI beat the human champion of the popular online multiplayer game Dota 2. The AI bot mastered the game by playing against itself for a span of two weeks. Elon Musk, founder of OpenAI, hailed the victory as the first ever defeat of a human champion by an AI bot in competitive eSports. Read more here.

Diagnostic power in a smartphone

August 18, 2017 — Imparting lab grade diagnostic power to smartphones, a spectral transmission-reflectance-intensity analyzer has been developed at the University of Illinois College of Engineering. The device can be attached to a smartphone and be used to analyze blood, urine or saliva samples reliably. Read more here.

USB interface vulnerable to information leak

August 17, 2017 — Presenting their findings at the USENIX Security Symposium, researchers from the University of Adelaide have found that more than 90 percent of USB hubs leak information to USB devices by employing the chanel-to-chanel crosstalk leakage and, thus, are pressing for reform to USB protocols. Read more here.

Artificial skin could allow robots to feel like we do

August 11, 2017 — Researchers from TU Graz in Austria are trying to copy the largest organ of our bodies: the skin. Previous attempts had only achieved materials that respond to one particular stimulus, but the SmartCore EU project expects to create a nanoscale sensor that can pick up temperature, humidity and pressure stimuli. The first application will be in robotics, but in future it could be used in humans. Read more here.

Bots take over celebrity Twitter accounts

August 11, 2017 — Research from the University of Cambridge shows Twitter accounts with more than 10 million followers tend to show bot like behaviour. Developing a bot detection algorithm, researchers found these high-profile accounts retweet at a constant pace and show uniform behavior. Find more here.

Reconstructing 3D models with water

August 10, 2017 — Combining robotics and water, an innovative technique has been built to more accurately use three dimensional scanning to reconstruct complex objects. A robotic arm dips the object in a bath of water by a robot arm. The quality of the reconstruction improves as the number of dipping orientations is increased. Find more here.

Computer characters learn complex motor skills

August 4, 2017 — DeepLoco, an algorithm developed by computer scientists at UBC can help computer characters, and eventually robots, to learn complex motor skills—such as walking and running—through trial and error. Eliminating the need to hand code, the algorithm allows characters to learn to respond to their environments. Find more here.

Disney unviels Magic Bench

August 3, 2017 — The research team at Disney will present and demonstrate a combined augmented and mixed reality experience tool, "Magic Bench," at SIGGRAPH 2017. Instrumenting the surrounding environment, rather than the individual, the technology allows people to share their "magical experience" as a group. Using depth sensors, the people seated on the Magic Bench can see themselves in a mirrored image, and interact directly with an animated character, thus creating a multi-sensory immersive experience. Find more here.

X.GLU WINS MICROSOFT'S IMAGINE CUP

August 2, 2017 — Imagine Cup is Microsoft's global competition for high-tech student projects. Teams from all over the world competed for the Cup and the finals were held in Redmond, Washington where 54 finalists presented their projects. The X.GLU team won this year's Imagine Cup and a $100,000 grand prize for their smart glucose meter for kids.The glucose meter is the thinnest glucose meter available and can be controlled with a smartphone through an NFC connection. Follow the Imagine Cup here.

Designing a 4D camera for robots

August 2, 2017 — Are robots required to see the way humans do? Stanford engineers are trying to find the answer. They have developed a 4-D camera using light field photography, a technology first described by Stanford researchers more than two decades ago. Light field photography creates a 4-D image by combining the same information that a classical 2-D camera captures with the direction and distance of the light hitting the lens.The Stanford team believe robots and drones might use this technology in the future. Read more here.

FACEBOOK SHUTS DOWN AI CHAT BOTS

August 1, 2017 — False concern have been rampant since this news broke, however, Facebook decided to shut down the bots as they conversed in a language incomprehensible to humans and it could not aid their final goal of developing bots that could interact with humans. The AI was initially developed to have chatbots communicate with humans, not each other. The technology used machine learning techniques to improve language and negotiation skills. Read more here.

FLAW IN CELLULAR NETWORKS MAY ALLOW HACKERS TO TRACK PHONE LOCATIONS

July 31, 2017 — Security researchers at the Black Hat Conference in Las Vegas disclosed a security flaw in the modern 3G, 4G and VoLTE mobile networks, which allows hackers to track phone locations. The flaw arises due to a weakness in authentication and key agreement, which is used for secure communication between mobile phones and cellular networks. Read more here.

Mapping the brain of a fruit fly with AI

July 28, 2017 — In an attempt to understand the function of neurons at a cellular level, scientists have developed a smart computer program named JAABA to create a brain-wide atlas of fruit fly behavior.The program tracked and cataloged 400,000 fruit flies, resulting in comprehensive neural maps, giving a starting point for tracing the neural circuitry flies use to produce specific behaviors. Read more here.

Powering gadgets through human movement

July 27, 2017 — Researchers at Vanderbilt University are working to make humans charging depots for our personal devices. The technology works by pulling energy from human movements. Made out of layers of black phosphorus, the device is capable of operating at more than 25 percent efficiency in ideal operating conditions—reacting to even extremely low frequencies characteristic of human motion. Unlike piezoelectric systems, which have limited efficiencies of under 5-10 percent. The future applications of this technology include electrified clothing. Read more here.

RESEARCHERS TRAIN AI SYSTEM TO PREDICT INGREDIENTS FROM IMAGES OF FOOD

July 26, 2017 — Researchers at MIT have trained an AI system to view photos of food, predict the ingredients and suggest similar recipes. The goal is to learn diverse recipes and better understand people's eating habits with the help of the newly developed AI. The AI developed by the team, known as Pic2Recipe, uses a approach that is similar to human judgement. Read more here.

Shrinking drone technology

July 21, 2017 — To date, engineers have successfully miniaturized most hardware components for drones. However shrinking the computer chip has been a challenge due to enormous amount data processing requirements. Engineers at MIT are now set to release Navion, a new hardware and software approach that uses a fraction of the power of larger drone computers, which make chips more compact. Read more here.

Better human machine interaction with detectors

July 20, 2017 — Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are opening up new avenues for people to use machines to better understand their environments. Imagine a computer that not only understands body poses and movements of multiple people, but can also individual fingers. This new discovery of detecting unspoken communication is the first step in using robots in social scenarios. Real-time pose detection has been challenging, but the team at CMU are using a different approach: localizing body parts in a given scenario and then associating all the parts as parts with individuals. Read more here.

Computer Scientists Demonstrate The Potential For Faking Video

July 19, 2017 — A team of computer scientists from the University of Washington, who research on AI, have succesfully created fake videos using lip sync. A video demo features former President Barack Obama saying things in different order or from different recordings. The system uses neural networks to learn his mouth movements, then the system creates video of him transmitting a message that was never actually spoken. You can read more in their technical paper, which has been accepted for SIGGRAPH 2017. Read more here.

CHINESE RESEARCHERS TELEPORT A PHOTON TO SPACE

July 18, 2017 — Chinese researchers working on the Micius satellite have successfully teleported a photon from the ground station to the satellite, orbiting about 500 km above ground. The Micius satellite is a sensitive photon receiver that can detect the quantum states of photons fired from the ground station. The team teleported the photon while setting up a satellite to ground quantum network using the quantum phenomenon called entanglement. Read more here.

SCIENTISTS ENCODE MOVIE INTO THE GENOME OF LIVING BACTERIA

July 17, 2017 — Researchers at Harvard Medical School have successfully encoded a movie in the DNA of a living cell. The scientists used the CRISPR-Cas system to encode pixels from an image and a movie into the genome of a population of living bacteria. Recent efforts have illustrated that DNA can act as an excellent medium for data archival through the use of synthetic oligonucleotides. Read more here.

First battery-free cellphone makes calls by harvesting ambient power

July 17, 2017 — Can we build cellphones without batteries? Researchers at the University of Washington have proved it is possible. They built a prototype with off-the-shelf components and published the details of their research in an ACM journal. UW engineers realized most of the power consumption in phone communications happens during the analog/digital conversion. These energy-hungry steps were eliminated. Instead, the prototype phone relies on a custom based unit that receives and transmits radio signals. They expect that such unit can be included in standard network infrastructure. The prototype can connect to a 50 feet away unit using a tiny solar cell. Read more here.

MIT Researchers Offer Algorithm for Picking ‘Winning’ Startups

July 17, 2017 — Venture capitalists provide much of the economic fuel for new information technologies all around us. Although investments are done by educated, and somehow predictable decisions, many aspects are often still unpredictable. MIT researchers have developed a machine learning algorithm to predict growth and figure out what are the best investment options. The algorithm makes predictions using the same features used by venture capitalists such as founder experience. The algorithm has been shown to significantly beat real-world VC investment predictions. Read more here.

Mechanic music makes its way

July 14, 2017 — Swiss researchers at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have developed an artificial composer, using artificial intelligence techniques of deep learning, which can produce complete melodies. Training itself by listening to existing tunes, the system teaches itself to predict the pitch and duration of every note following another, then performing its creation. FInd out more here.

Hacking brainwaves

July 13, 2017 — EEG systems are gaining mass adoption in the medical, gaming and entertainment industries. However the popularity of electroencephalograph headsets has led researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham to identify a silent threat: Hackers can potentially use EEG headsets to identify user passwords by monitoring brainwaves. The findings show algorithms can make educated guesses about new characters users may enter when monitoring recorded EEG data. Read more here.

MASSIVE DATABASE AIDING IDENTIFICATION OF PLANT FAMILIES

July 11, 2017 — A massive database of 182,000 leaves from 141 plant families and 75 locations around the world is aiding scientists to accurately predict where the leaf was found as well as its plant family. Researchers hope to exploit the available data and learn more about the forces that shape plant leaves and ultimately predict the taxonomy of the entire plant, and even reconstruct the climate in which the leaf was growing. Read more here.

Thermoelectric energy for wearable devices

July 10, 2017 — Engineers at the North Carolina State University have designed a flexible thermoelectric energy harvester, which rivals existing rigid wearable devices that use body heat as a source of energy. With wearable devices becoming increasingly popular, the proposed device does not compromise quality or efficiency. The move away from rigid to flexible wearables takes into account improved contact resistance and comfort. Read more here.

RESEARCHERS BUILD BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY FOR FASTER DIGITAL TRANSFERS

July 10, 2017 — Researchers at the University of Sydney have built a new blockchain technology called the "Red Belly Blockchain." This new technology allows secure and almost instantaneous digital transfer of virtual currencies. It is expected to be faster than conventional systems that are currently in use and is capable of achieving 440,000 transactions per second using 100 machines. Read more here.

MIT Researchers Offer Algorithm for Picking 'Winning' Startups

July 6, 2017 — Venture capitalists provide much of the economic fuel for new information technologies all around us. Although investments are done by educated, and somehow predictable decisions, many aspects are often still unpredictable. MIT researchers have developed a machine learning algorithm to predict growth and figure out what are the best investment options. The algorithm makes predictions using the same features used by venture capitalists such as founder experience. The algorithm has been shown to significantly beat real-world VC investment predictions.

Programming robots for natural versatility

July 6, 2017 — Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) are trying to solve the problem of versatility in robots. They aim to develop drones that can take to the air and the land. Looking at the bigger picture, the proposed driving and flying robots may help researchers develop safe and reliable flying cars in the future. The end goal is traffc-free transportation.  Read more here.

EU SLAPS $2.7 BILLION FINE ON GOOGLE

July 5, 2017 — The competition commissioner of the European Union has levied a fine of €2.4 billion against Google. The popular search engine, allegedly, gave preferential treatment to its own shopping comparison service in search results. The EU has also ordered Google to end it's anti-competitive practices within 90 days or face further penalty.  Read more here.

MAJOR RANSOMWARE ATTACK HITS EUROPE, UKRAINE

July 4, 2017 — A major ransomware attack has affected many businesses across Europe. It has been identified as a new strain of ransomware, now being called as "NonPetya." This new ransomware uses the same exploit used by WannaCry. Notably, the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant was also affected and has now switched to manual monitoring mode. Read more here.

ESA APPROVES A SPACE BASED ANTENNA TO DETECT GRAVITATIONAL WAVES

July 3, 2017 — The European Space Agency, or ESA, has given an official green light to the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). After decades of development and delays, the mission is now slated for a launch in 2034. LISA will be made up of three identical satellites orbiting the Sun in a triangle formation. Powerful lasers will be beamed across the satellites to detect any warping of space due to gravitational waves. Read more here.

GEOPHYSICISTs PLAN TO DEPLOY SEA-FLOOR SENSORS TO PREDICT TSUNAMIS

July 1, 2017 — Paroscientific, a Redmond-based research company, has developed a device that houses ultra-sensitive quartz sensors to detect changes in atmospheric pressure. Paroscientific plans to use this device in an early warning system that will detect earthquakes at the sea-floor. Coastal nations like Japan, Chile, and many others are working on similar devices to track sea-floor activity. Read more here.

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