XRDS: News Archive 2018
RUSSIAN ARMS MANUFACTURER UNVEILS DRONE FOR ARCTIC OPERATIONS
December 22, 2018 — The Russian arms manufacturer Kalashnikov unveiled it's ZALA Artic unmanned aerial vehicle(UAV) at the "The Arctic: the Present and the Future" forum. The ZALA UAV is designed to operate at freezing temperatures, making it capable of carrying out surveillance missions over the Arctic. It can measure the size, course, and speed of vessels from a distance of 100 kilometers. Read more here.
RESEARCHERS DEVELOP BLUETOOTH CONTROLLED INGESTIBLE CAPSULE
December 20, 2018 — Researchers from MIT, Draper, Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed an ingestible capsule that can be controlled using Bluetooth. The capsule, which was manufactured using 3-D printing technology, can reside in the stomach for more than a month. It is designed to sense biological events in the body and release a drug in response. Read more here.
FACEBOOK PATENTS TECHNOLOGY THAT CAN PREDICT USERS' FUTURE LOCATION
December 16, 2018 — Facebook has filed a patent application titled "Offline Trajectories" for a technology that can predict where the user is going based on the user's and other users' previously logged location data. Facebook is likely to use this technology to present more relevant content in the user's "News Feed" and serve better-targeted ads. Read more here.
CHINESE COURT BANS SALE OF OLDER IPHONE MODELS
December 15, 2018 — A Chinese court has ordered a ban on the sale of some older Apple iPhone models, the 6S through X, for patent infringement. Qualcomm Inc. filed a case arguing Apple infringed patents on resizing photographs and managing apps on the touchscreen. However, intellectual property lawyers are of the opinion that the enforcement of the ban was unlikely. Notably, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are Apple's third-largest market combined. Read more here.
BRAINGATE BCI LETS PARALYZED PEOPLE CONTROL TABLET DEVICES
November 30, 2018 — BrainGate, a new brain-computer interface(BCI), has given tetraplegic people the ability to control commercial tablet devices using their thoughts. BrainGate is undergoing clinical trials where the participants train the system, and the BCI translates thoughts into actions on the screen. The BCI decodes brain activity and sends that information to the target device via a bluetooth interface. The participants in the clinical trial were able to check and respond to email, read the news and stream music using the BCI. Read more here.
SAMSUNG PROMISES COMPENSATION TO WORKERS FOR WORK RELATED ILLNESS
November 28, 2018 — By 2028, Samsung Electronics has vowed to compensate its local chip and display factory workers who have suffered from work-related illnesses. Samsung will pay about $132,000 to any former and current employee suffering from work-related diseases caused by exposure to harmful chemicals. The company will post compensation guidelines and an apology letter by the end of November on its website. Read more here.
FCC APPROVES SPACEX'S PLAN TO DEPLOY 7,518 SATELLITES
November 21, 2018 — Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted SpaceX permission to deploy 7,518 satellites. The satellites are designed to provide broadband communications. SpaceX plans to begin launches next year. Notably, SpaceX had earned the permission to deploy a separate set of 4,425 satellites. Read more here.
NEURAL NETWORK FOR 3D PRINTING METAL PRODUCTS DEVELOPED
November 19, 2018 — Researchers from the Laboratory of Lightweight Materials and Structures of Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) have developed a neural network that can accelerate the mathematical modeling process for 3-D printing metal products. Right now, the calculations to model even a simple structure can take a week. The neural network achieves acceleration in the modeling process by using historical data, thus avoiding the calculations required for the full modeling process. Read more here.
RESEARCHERS DEVELOP A 3D IMAGE OF EARTH'S INTERIOR
November 17, 2018 — Researchers from Princeton University are using Summit, the world's fastest supercomputer, to create a simulated 3-D picture of the Earth's interior. The algorithm used to generate the 3-D image uses real-world earthquake observations to detect the variation in seismic wave speeds across the Earth's mantle. Read more here.
SCIENTISTS DEVELOP QUANTUM ACCELEROMETER
November 16, 2018 — Scientists from Imperial College London and M Squared, a U.K.-based quantum technology company, have built an accelerometer based on quantum mechanics. The quantum accelerometer measures the quantum wave properties of atoms at extremely low temperatures to determine the magnitude and direction of acceleration. The quantum accelerometer could become a viable alternative to existing GPS-based navigation. Read more here.
WORLD'S LARGEST NEUROMORPHIC SUPERCOMPUTER TURNED ON FOR THE FIRST TIME
November 9, 2018 — The world's largest neuromorphic supercomputer, Spiking Neural Network Architecture or SpiNNaker, was switched on for the first time last Friday the 2nd of November. The supercomputer was 20 years in conception and 10 years in construction. The SpiNNaker is capable of completing more than 200 million-million operations every second using its 1 million processors. Read more here.
PRIVATE DATA OF 120 MILLION FACEBOOK USERS POSSIBLY AT RISK
November 8, 2018 — The private data of 120 million Facebook users could be at risk. Russian hackers have reportedly put up personal Facebook messages from 81,000 user accounts for sale. Facebook has stated that the data leak is not its fault and the data had probably been obtained through malicious browser extensions. Read more here.
AI ARTWORK SOLD AT A RECORD $432,500
November 4, 2018 — An artificial intelligence(AI) driven by a set of algebraic formulae drew an artwork called "Portrait of Edmond Belamy" that was sold for $432,500 at the Christie's auction house in New York last week. Hugo Caselles-Dupré, Pierre Fautrel, and Gauthier Vernier have devised a method called generative adversarial network or GAN which uses two algorithms named the Generator and the Discriminator to generate portraits. Read more here.
IBM TO BUY RED HAT FOR $34 BILLION
November 3, 2018 — IBM has announced that it would acquire Red Hat for $190 USD per share, valuing Red Hat to a total of $34 billion. IBM plans to close the acquisition in the latter half of 2019. IBM is aiming to expand its hybrid cloud business through this acquisition. Read more here.
JAPANESE RESEARCHERS DEVELOP ELECTRIC CHEWING GUM
October 26, 2018 — Researchers at Meiji University in Japan have developed an electric chewing gum that generates electricity to create a virtual flavor. The chewing gum uses a technology called unlimited electric gum. The piezoelectric elements and electrodes in the chewing gum produce a small electric current when chewed, which tricks the tongue into sensing different tastes. Read more here.
ROBOT DISCUSSES FUTURE OF AI WITH UK MPs
October 25, 2018 — Pepper, a robot based at Middlesex University, became the first robot to appear at a UK parliamentary meeting. The questions at the meeting were pre-arranged and were delivered to the robot loudly and slowly to ensure that the robot understood them. Pepper is also helping special needs children improve their numeracy. The robot costs between £10,000 and £12,000 and can recognize faces and make eye contact. Read more here.
GOOGLE AI BETTER AT DIAGNOSING BREAST CANCER THAN HUMANS
October 22, 2018 — Using deep learning Google's researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) that can spot metastatic breast cancer with a greater accuracy than pathologists. The AI can detect metastatic breast cancer with 99 percent accuracy. The AI tool has significantly reduced the inspection time down to a single minute. Read more here.
SCIENTISTS BUILD THE WORLD'S FASTEST CAMERA
October 18, 2018 — Scientists from the California Institute of Technology and Quebec University have built the world's fastest camera called T-CUP. The camera can shoot up to 10 trillion frames per second. It uses compressed ultrafast photography with a femtosecond streak camera to capture images every 100 femtoseconds. The camera captures light as it travels. Read more here.
RESEARCHERS DEVELOP AI THAT CAN DETECT FAKE NEWS
October 14, 2018 — Researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Qatar's Computing Research Institute have developed an artificial intelligence(AI) based solution to detect fake news. The AI uses machine learning algorithms to detect fake news by measuring the quality of the source of the news. The team used Fact Check's analysis of more than 2,000 news outlets to train the AI. Read more here.
JET SUIT RACING TO BE LAUNCHED IN 2019
October 11, 2018 — British entrepreneur Richard Browning is being called a "real-life" Tony Starks thanks to his invention, a jet engine-powered suit. The jet suit is powered by five miniature jet engines and has a record speed of 32 miles per hour. Browning plans to launch an aeronautical race featuring jet suits. Read more here.
50 MILLION FACEBOOK ACCOUNTS EXPOSED
October 5, 2018 — Attackers were able to take over Facebook users' accounts due to a security issue in the "View as" feature. The issue has affected 50 million user accounts. The security flaw allows attackers to steal access tokens, which can be later used to access user accounts. Facebook has temporarily disabled the "View as" feature. Read more here.
US VOTING MACHINES VULNERABLE TO ATTACK
October 3, 2018 — The Model 650 high-speed ballot-counting machine made by Election Systems & Software (ES&S) LLC, which is used in more than half of U.S. states, is vulnerable to cyber attack due to a flaw disclosed more than a decade ago. The security flaw was detailed in a security report commissioned by Ohio's Secretary of State in 2007. According to the ES&S' spokesperson the device is no longer manufactured, and as the machine processes paper ballots they can be reliably audited. Read more here.
FACEBOOK TO SETUP WAR ROOM TO MONITOR ELECTION INTERFERENCE
September 30, 2018 — Facebook is building a dedicated conference room to monitor election interference at its headquarters. Facebook has developed a new internal tool to track information flow across the social network in real time to identify misinformation as it goes viral. Facebook also introduced a pilot program for candidate account security. Read more here.
GOOGLE ALLOWS THIRD-PARTY ACCESS TO GMAIL DATA
September 30, 2018 — Susan Molinari, Google's Vice President of public policy and government affairs, confirmed Google allows third parties to access Gmail data. Developers require consent from the user before they can access their Gmail data. Developers can also share data with third parties as long as they are transparent with the users about how they are using the data. Notably, Google stopped scanning Gmail messages for ad-targeting beginning in early 2018. Read more here.
NEW PILLOW USES NASA TECHNOLOGY TO MODULATE TEMPERATURE
September 19, 2018 — The Simba Hybrid pillow uses a proprietary coating material called Outlast to modulate temperature variations. The coating material was originally developed for NASA to protect astronauts from temperature variations. The pillow is filled with laser-cut foam tubes that adjust the pillow's shape as required and allow air to circulate to keep the surface of the pillow cool. Read more here.
UK STARTUP TO LAUNCH AIR TAXI SERVICE IN 2022
September 19, 2018 — Vertical Aerospace, an UK-based startup, has announced plans to launch an air taxi service in 2022. The startup has already built and flown a 1600 pound fully electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft(eVTOL). Vertical Aerospace plans to overcome regulatory and safety concerns by relying on existing innovations, rather than trying to deliver on over ambitious promises. Read more here.
US MARINES BUILDS 3D-PRINTED BARRACKS
September 8, 2018 — The U.S. Marine Corps successfully 3D-printed an entire barracks in just 40 hours using the world's largest concrete-fed printer. According to the Marines, the barracks can be 3-D printed in a day if the mixing and refilling of concrete are done automatically by a robot. Read more here.
RESEARCHERS HACK MCAFEE'S 'UNHACKABLE' WALLET
September 7, 2018 — Security researchers, Saleem Rashid and Ryan Castellucci, have discovered an exploit that allows extraction of secret keys from McAfee's Bitfi wallet. An attacker can extract the memory of the device and find the keys in less than two minutes. The attack does not require any specialist hardware. Notably, McAfee had announced a $250,000 bounty for anyone who could carry out a successful attack on the Bitfi wallet. Read more here.
JAPAN TO COLLABORATE WITH 21 COMPANIES TO BRING IN FLYING TAXIES
September 1, 2018 — The Japanese Trade Ministry has announced that it will work with 21 companies, including Uber, Boeing and Airbus, to bring flying taxis into the mainstream over the next decade. The government has promised inclusive regulation to promote flying taxis. Notably, Kitty Hawk, a flying taxi startup owned by Larry Page, has been testing air taxis over New Zealand for the past year. Uber is also planning to deploy flying taxis within the next five years. Read more here.
ALGORITHM BETTER AT DETECTING FAKE NEWS THAN HUMANS
August 31, 2018 — Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed an algorithm-based system that can detect fake news stories. The algorithm identifies linguistic cues to detect fake news articles. The linguistic analysis approach could be used to identify fake news articles that are too new to be verified by cross-referencing facts with other sources. The system has an accuracy of 76 percent as compared to average human accuracy of 70 percent. Read more here.
AI TOOL AT PAR WITH HUMAN EXPERTS AT DETECTING EYE PROBLEMS
August 23, 2018 — An artificial intelligence(AI) system developed by DeepMind is capable of diagnosing 50 different eye diseases with 94% accuracy. The AI system uses machine-learning to analyze the complex optical coherence tomography scans of patients to produce a diagnosis. The AI system uses a two-stage process, and every stage relies on multiple machine-learning models to produce the final result. Read more here.
WIFI CAN DETECT WEAPONS, BOMBS, AND CHEMICALS
August 22, 2018 — According to a study by researchers at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, WiFi can easily detect weapons, bombs and explosive. Researchers were able to detect specific materials using WiFi signals by analyzing how the signals penetrate or bounce off objects. Traditional screening systems require costly specialized equipment, the new WiFi-based system is easy to set up and inexpensive. Read more here.
APPLE PATENTS HIGH-TECH WINDSHIELD
August 16, 2018 — Apple has filed a patent for a futuristic windshield powered by augmented reality, that could potentially be used for self-driving cars. The windshield will adaptively present content depending on the detected stress level of passengers. Passengers will be able to make video calls using the windshield. Read more here.
FORD TO DEPLOY EXOSKELETONS IN ITS FACTORIES
August 15, 2018 — Ford plans to deploy the EksoVest exoskeleton for its factory employees. The exoskeleton is designed to act as an aid to carry out heavy-duty overhead tasks. The exoskeleton delivers 15 pounds of assistance and reduces the risk of fatigue and upper body injuries. Read more here.
NEW DRONE SAFETY RESEARCH CENTER LAUNCHES IN NEVADA
August 11, 2018 — The state of Nevada announced the launch of the Nevada Drone Center of Excellence for Public Safety on July 31. The drone research center will be run by the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems(NIAS) and will be located in Las Vegas. Research at the Center will be focused on ensuring drones don't cause harm to other aircrafts or people on the ground. The Center will also develop training material and conduct public workshops on drone safety. Read more here.
POTENTIAL QUANTUM COMPUTING ADVANCE BECOMES OBSOLETE AFTER NEW FINDINGS
August 8, 2018 — Ewin Tang, an 18-year-old computer scientist, has proven that the recommendation problem could be potentially solved on classical computers nearly as fast as quantum computers. The recommendation problem is designed to give a recommendation of products that users will like. It was earlier considered to be a problem that could be solved exponentially faster on quantum computers as compared to classical computers. Read more here.
CHINESE CITY LAUNCHES $1.5 BILLION BLOCKCHAIN FUND
August 3, 2018 — Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu province in China, has launched a 10 billion yuan investment fund to support public blockchain projects. The city administration recently announced the investment in collaboration with the Zhongguancun Blockchain Industry Alliance at the Industrial Public Chain Summit. The aim of the blockchain fund is to cultivate blockchain solutions for healthcare, energy, intellectual property, and environmental protection. Read more here.
FACEBOOK UPGRADES SERVER CONFIGURATION DELIVERY PROCESS
July 31, 2018 — Facebook has deployed a new Location Aware Delivery (LAD) configuration delivery tool to replace the older open-source Zoo Keeper solution. LAD has reduced latency to less than five seconds and supports 10 times more file volume. LAD is comprised of a proxy that is deployed on every Facebook machine and supplies configuration files to machines that demand or need them. Read more here.
CANADIAN STARTUP UNVEILS FLYING CAR
July 23, 2018 — Last week, Canadian startup, Opener, unveiled BlackFly a flying car that can fly up to 25 miles at a speed of 63 miles per hour. The BlackFly is a one-person aircraft that can be easily controlled using a joystick controller. Operators won't need a pilot's license, but will need training to fly the aircraft. The aircraft is powered by eight propulsion systems and is fully amphibious. Read more here.
FIRST 3D COLOR X-RAY OF HUMAN BODY
July 23, 2018 — A New-Zealand based company has captured a 3-D color X-ray of a human body for the first time. The 3-D color X-ray scanner is based on the Medipix3 technology developed at CERN. Medipix is a family of read-out chips that work like a camera by detecting individual particles hitting the pixels. The Medipix technology enables high-resolution, high-contrast, and reliable images. Read more here.
BAIDU TO DEPLOY SELF-DRIVING BUSES IN JAPAN
July 12, 2018 — Baidu is partnering with Softbank subsidiary SB Drive to develop a self-driving mini-bus in Japan, which will launch in 2019. The autonomous mini-buses, called Apolong, will be initially launched only in geo-fenced locations. Baidu has already manufactured 100 Apolong mini-buses in collaboration with Chinese bus manufacturer King Long. The mini-buses are powered by Apollo, Baidu's open-source platform for autonomous vehicles. Read more here.
ALIBABA OPENS AI BASED FASHION CONCEPT STORE
July 10, 2018 — Alibaba has created an artificial intelligence system called FashionAI to help customers choose their outfit. FashionAI consists of a smart mirror that uses computer vision to recognize the color, style, and traits of the clothes the customer holds in front of the mirror. The AI also generates suggestions that complement clothes the customer previously bought online. The FashionAI concept store is being showcased on Hong Kong Polytechnic University's campus. Read more here.
HONDA RETIRES ASIMO ROBOT
July 9, 2018 — Honda has announced it would stop production of its famed humanoid robot Asimo (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility). The company wants to focus Asimo's technology for practical use cases like medicine and road transport. Asimo is capable of recognizing multiple moving objects, interpreting voice commands, and navigating autonomously using the sensors on its body. Asimo was first unveiled in 2000. Read more here.
RESEARCHERS CREATE DRONE THAT CHANGES SHAPE MIDAIR
July 5, 2018 — Researcher's from the University of Tokyo's JSK Lab have developed a drone called "Dual-rotor embedded multilink Robot with the Ability of multi-deGree-of-freedom aerial transformatiON" or DRAGON that can change shape autonomously. DRAGON is made up of several smaller drones that are connected to each other. The DRAGON drone has the potential to be used in industrial applications or in search and rescue operations. Read more here.
RESEARCHERS CREATE SMALLEST COMPUTER IN THE WORLD
June 27, 2018 — A team of researchers from the University of Michigan has created the world's smallest computer measuring just 0.3 mm on each side. The device has a temperature sensor, processors, and wireless receivers and transmitters. The device uses visible light to receive and transmit data. The device is powered by light incident on the diodes, which can also act as solar cells. Read more here.
ELECTRONIC SKIN BRINGS SENSE OF TOUCH AND PAIN TO PROSTHETICS HANDS
June 26, 2018 — A team of engineers from Johns Hopkins University has created electronic skin, or e-dermis, that has a real sense of touch. The "skin" can simulate a sense of touch and pain using sensors. It relays the impulses to actual peripheral nerves. The e-dermis can be mounted on prosthetic hands, giving a new level of sensation to amputees. Read more here.
CARBON DIOXIDE SIPHONING MAY SOON BECOME COMMERCIALLY VIABLE
June 19, 2018 — According to a study published in the journal Joule, the estimated cost to siphon a ton of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere has dropped. In 2011 the cost was $600, today it ranges from $94 to $232. A detailed economic analysis indicates that this drop in cost is making the technology commercially viable. The study was conducted by researchers from Carbon Engineering, a firm that operates a carbon dioxide extraction plant in British Columbia. Read more here.
RESEARCHERS DEVELOP WIRELESS SYSTEM TO POWER DEVICES INSIDE THE BODY
June 15, 2018 — Researchers from MIT and Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed a new wireless system that can power devices implanted within the human body. The system uses radio frequency waves that can power devices located 10 centimeters deep in the body from a distance of 1 meter. The implanted devices and the power transmission system can be used to deliver drugs, monitor a patient, or deliver treatments that use electrical stimulation. Read more here.
NEW STUDY USES AI TO ANALYZE PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS ON TWITTER
June 13, 2018 — A QUT-led study used artificial intelligence to analyze personality characteristics from language patterns in 1.5 billion Twitter messages. The study mapped entrepreneurial personality and activity across the U.S. The personalities were analyzed on the basis of patterns of high extraversion, conscientiousness, openness, low agreeableness and neuroticism. According to the team of researchers who conducted the study, the language used on social media is a reliable marker of the economic vitality of a specific region. QUT is a part of a national collaborative group of five major Australian universities. Read more here.
RESEARCHERS DEVELOP BATTERY-FREE TOYS
June 7, 2018 — Researchers from the Jeju National University in South Korea have created rubber ducks and clapping toys fitted with triboelectric nanogenerators or TENGS, which harvest energy from the static electricity generated by rubbing objects together. Toys fitted with TENGS do not need to rely on batteries for power. The team has created toys with LEDs powered by TENGS and plan to develop toys with more functionality powered by TENGS. Read more here.
SCIENTISTS CREATE ROBOTS WITH LIVE MUSCLE TISSUE
June 6, 2018 — A team of researchers at the University of Tokyo have created a biohybrid robot with muscle tissues mounted on a metal skeleton. The team constructed a robot skeleton fitted with electrodes and attached hydrogel sheets with muscle cells to the skeleton. This allows for the joints on the skeleton to flex and move using muscle cells stimulated by the electrodes. Read more here.
RESEARCHERS DEVELOP UNHACKABLE ENVELOPE
May 9, 2018 — Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security (AISEC) in Germany have developed an envelope, called B-Trepid, for hardware security modules (HSMs) that cannot be broken into without deleting stored data. Traditional HSMs rely on battery-powered wire meshes that detect a change in resistance if anyone tries to damage or tamper the module. B-Trepid does not require a battery and relies on the capacitance between wires to detect any attempt of tampering or damage. If B-Trepid is breached, the data within the system is rendered unreadable. Read more here.
SMART PATCH TO ELECTRONICALLY TAG MARINE ANIMALS DEVELOPED
May 8, 2018 — Researchers from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia have developed a smart patch, called "Marine Skin," to electronically tag marine animals. The smart patch uses flexible silicone elastomers that can tolerate high pressure allowing marine biologists to track the movement and diving behavior of marine animals as well as the health of the surrounding marine environment in real time. Read more here.
IBM BUILDS BLOCKCHAIN TO VERIFY JEWELRY SUPPLY CHAIN
May 4, 2018 — IBM has built a permissioned blockchain, TrustChain, to authenticate jewelry by following the supply chain from mines to showrooms. IBM claims TrustChain is the first end-to-end industry capability on the blockchain. The blockchain-based trust mechanism is expected to be more efficient than the current paper-based method as it reduces the dependence on paper, which can be altered or lost. The consumer side interface of the blockchain is still under development. Read more here.
MACHINE LEARNING MODEL USED TO MAP MARS NOW EVALUATING TUMOR TREATMENT
May 4, 2018 — Researchers at the University of Manchester in the U.K. have adapted a machine-learning approach called "Linear Poisson Modelling" to measure the effect of cancer therapies on tumors. The researchers had previously used this technique to asses the images of craters and dunes of Mars. Tumors are not uniform and grow at varying speeds, hence it is difficult to observe how effective the course of treatment really is. Linear Poisson Modelling can also assess the effect of errors in data and help determine how precise the results are. Read more here.
RESEARCHERS GROW GRAPHENE WITH SAME BAND GAP AS SILICON
April 27, 2018 — Researchers at the Catalan Insitute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology(ICN2) in Spain have created a nanoporous graphene with the same band gap as silicon. The band gap in silicon is ideal for digital electronics due to its ability to start and stop the flow of electrons. Researchers have now replicated this band gap in nanoporous graphene by using bottom-up manufacturing techniques. This technique also allows changing the band gap by modifying the width between graphene strips. Other approaches to introduce this band gap in graphene have added critical costs and complications and hence have been imperfect. This new technique of fabricating graphene is simple and can be extended to wafer-scale growth. Read more here.
RESEARCHERS DEMONSTRATE CAPACITY OF SUPERCONDUCTORS TO CARRY CURRENTS OF 'SPIN'
April 26, 2018 — Researchers at the University of Cambridge have discovered superconductors that can carry currents of "spin." A spin current is a current flow generated by up-up and down-down pairs of electrons moving in opposite directions with a net charge current of zero. Electronics employing spin-current-based superconductivity could lead to dramatic decreases in power consumption as compared to conventional silicon-based electronics. The team of researchers also discovered spin current flows more effectively in the superconducting state of the material than the non-superconducting state. Read more here.
RUSSIAN STARTUP DEVELOPS AI SOFTWARE FOR RECRUITING EMPLOYEES
April 9, 2018 — Russian startup Stafory has designed artificial intelligence (AI) software, called Robot Vera, that helps companies fill job vacancies. The startup is helping its 300 clients, which include Pepsico, Ikea, and L'Oréal, to optimize their recruitment process using AI. Robot Vera can simultaneously interview hundreds of applicants via video or voice calls. The AI was trained using 13 billion examples of syntax and speech from TV, Wikipedia, and job listings. The team is currently working on recognition of emotions like anger, pleasure, and disappointment. Read more here.
AUSTRALIA AND SINGAPORE SIGN AGREEMENT ON SUPERCOMPUTING
April 9, 2018 — The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre of Australia and the National Supercomputing Center (NSCC) of Singapore have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) allowing for collaboration on supercomputing projects. The MOU also includes plans for networking, data analytics, scientific software applications, and visual computing. The MOU aims to deliver better, faster, and more innovative outcomes. The MOU is expected to enable the flow of knowledge between the centres, which in turn will benefit the entire high-performance computing community. Read more here.
BOEING HIT BY WANNACRY RANSOMWARE
April 3, 2018 — Aircraft manufacturing company Boeing has been hit by the Wannacry Ransomware attack. The same ransomware had affected many computer systems globally last year. The ransomware exploits a vulnerability in the Windows operating system to spread across any network and encrypt the user's personal data, making the data inaccessible. An official Boeing statement indicated the number of machines affected were in the dozens but the intrusion has been contained. Read more here.
SPACEX'S SATELLITE BASED BROADBAND SERVICES APPROVED
April 2, 2018 — The U.S. Federal Communications Commission(FCC) has given it's formal approval to SpaceX's plan to build a broadband network using satellites. The proposed system will use 4,425 satellites to provide broadband coverage globally. The FCC has granted the Ka(20/30 GHz) and Ku(11/14 GHz) bands to SpaceX for it's proposed network. Read more here.
AMAZON FILES PATENT FOR A HAND GESTURE CONTROLLED DRONE
March 27, 2018 — Amazon has filed a patent for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) design that can interpret gesture and voice commands. The UAV could be mounted with light sensors, cameras, auditory sensors and feedback devices like speakers or projectors to interact with users. Samsung has also filed a similar patent design for a drone that can track users' eye, head, and hand movements to provide gesture-based control. Read more here.
FACEBOOK EXPOSES DATA OF 50 MILLION USERS WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION
March 26, 2018 — Facebook has reportedly exposed the data of 50 million users. Facebook allowed a Cambridge University researcher, Aleksandr Kogan, access to raw data of 50 million users without their explicit permissions via a quiz app named "thisismydigitallife." The app exploited a loophole in the Facebook API that allowed the app to collect data about the Facebook friends of users who actually used the app. Aleksandr Kogan sold the data he collected to U.K. based political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which is co-owned by American hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer. Former White House strategist Steve Bannon also has close ties to the firm. Notably, Facebook knew about this "breach" for more than two years before this news became public knowledge. Read more here.
ORIGAMI BASED ARM DEVELOPED FOR DRONES
March 20, 2018 — With drones becoming more commonplace in our lives, researchers are conceptualizing new ways to use them. In South Korea, researchers from Seoul National University have developed an "origami" arm to improve drone functionality. The arm can unfold and pick up objects. The length of the arm when fully stretched is 27.5 inches, but it can be folded and stowed away. The arm is made up of seven plastic actuators and is equipped with grippers allowing the arm to grab objects. The arm can be attached to drones as a module and weighs only 258 grams or about half a pound. Read more here.
APPLE PATENTS NEW WATER RESISTANT CHARGING CONNECTOR
March 15, 2018 — Apple has filed a series of patent applications, specifically addressing water-resistant charging connectors. Apple aims to achieve this by changing the shape of the connector. The new connector is wedge-shaped and would push through protective flaps that would seal once the connector is fully inserted. Another patent proposes the use of on-device vacuum generators to seal the port using vacuum seals. Read more here.
FAKE NEWS SPREADS WIDER AND FASTER
March 13, 2018 — According to a study done by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology fake news travels faster and deeper through social media platforms than real news. The researchers analyzed stories from Twitter for this study. According to the study, people prefer fake news over accurate news. While verified, accurate news stories were shared more than 1,000 times, fake news was routinely shared by 1,000 to 100,000 people. Researchers used more than 80,000 tweets containing false stories for the study. Read more here.
SCIENTISTS DEVELOPING FAULT TOLERANT ROBOTIC SWARMS
February 28, 2018 — Researchers at the University of Southampton are using bio-inspired algorithms and machine learning techniques to develop fault-tolerant robotic swarms. The researchers are trying to create swarms that are able to tolerate damages and faults but continue to function for extended periods of time without human intervention.The robots will operate even with faults by learning new compensatory movements through trial and error. Read more here.
INTEL PLANS TO BRING 5G TO LAPTOPS
February 27, 2018 — Intel's plans to launch its XMM 8000 series modem in the second half of 2019. Under its "Always Connected" PC offerings, the new modems will make notebooks 5G compliant. 5G networks are expected to be much faster with lower latency than conventional networks. Read more here.
RESEARCHERS DEVELOP SELF-HEALING ELECTRONIC SKIN
February 19, 2018 — Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder, USA and School of Materials Science and Engineering, China have developed an electronic skin or "e-skin" that can heal itself. The skin is a thin film of compounds mixed together and equipped with pressure, temperature, humidity and air flow sensors. If the skin is ruptured it can be healed by adding the required compounds on top of the skin, which recreates the chemical bonds across the tear. The healing process takes less than 30 minutes at room temperature or only a few minutes in warmer environments. If the skin is damaged beyond repair, all the constituent compounds can be extracted from the skin by soaking it in a solution, making it completely recyclable. The recycling process takes 10 hours at room temperature or only 30 minutes at 60 degrees Celsius. Read more here.
SCIENTISTS BUILD SOCIAL ROBOT TO PROMOTE CREATIVITY IN THE WORKPLACE
February 18, 2018 — Scientists from the University of New South Wales and Fuji Xerox Research Technology group have developed a social robot to promote collaboration among workers. The social robot will interact with employees and perform administrative and organizational tasks. The project is to be completed in two phases: the first phase has already begun with preliminary engineering tests. In the second phase, the robot will be deployed in real-life scenarios to test how humans react to the robot. Read more here.
RESEARCHERS DEVELOP NEW PROTOCOL FOR A ROBUST BLOCKCHAIN
February 8, 2018 — Researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the University of California at Davis, and the University of Stavanger have developed a new protocol called "BChain" to make blockchains more robust. Traditional blockchain protocols rely on a leader server and Byzantine fault-tolerant strategies to protect the network from failures. However, if the leader server starts misbehaving it may lead to poor network performance or inconsistency of data across the blockchain network. The BChain protocol attempts to address this issue by making servers monitor each other and pushes a misbehaving server to the end of the chain to minimize the impact of the misbehavior on the network. Read more here.
ROBOTS DEVELOPED FOR HARVESTING CUCUMBERS
February 7, 2018 — Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology are developing an armed robot for automated harvesting of cucumbers. In Germany, cucumbers are traditionally plucked by workers. The team is building three prototypes: one based on vacuum technology, another using bionic gripper jaws, and one that mimics the human hand. The robots are coded using behavioral patterns allowing them to make decisions such as pushing leaves out of the way before picking a cucumber. Read more here.
RESEARCHERS DEVELOP NEW MATERIAL FOR DATA RECORDING WITH LOW POWER CONSUMPTION
January 31, 2018 — Researchers from Tohoku University, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology(AIST) and Hanyang University have developed a new material that allows data recording at ultra-low power consumption in a non-volatile memory. The memory storage created using this new material is called Phase Change Random Access Memory or PCRAM and is expected to replace flash memory storage. PCRAM records data by changing the electrical resistance between high resistance amorphous and low resistance crystalline states. Read more here.
ATM MAKERS WARN THAT CYBER CRIMINALS ARE TARGETTING U.S. ATMS
January 30, 2018 — ATM makers Diebold Nixdorf and NCR Corporation have warned that cybercriminals are targeting U.S. ATMs. The attacks are being carried out using a technique called jackpotting. According to a security news website, Krebs on Security, the attacks begun already last year in Mexico. Both companies reportedly sent out alerts to their clients regarding this issue. Read more here.
NEW HEADBAND PLAYS WHITE NOISE FOR BETTER SLEEP
January 17, 2018 — Philips has launched a new headband that helps the wearer sleep by playing white noise. The headband uses sensors on the forehead to detect and measure brain activity. Philips has also developed a companion app for the headband that records and stores the data. According to Philips the slow repeating pattern of white noise reinforces better quality sleep. Read more here.
SMART CREDIT CARD WITH GSM CHIP DEVELOPED
January 17, 2018 — Last week at CES 2018, Dynamics Inc. unveiled a new smart credit card with a GSM chip inside and an E-Ink display. The E-Ink display has 65,000 pixels that can be used to display logos, card number, or the owner's name. The card also has a GSM cellular antenna that connects to a cellular network. The smart card is multipurpose as it can be reprogrammed using the cellular connection. Read more here.
SMARTPHONE MALWARE MIMICS UBER'S UI TO STEAL CREDENTIALS
January 10, 2018 — The Android.Fakeapp trojan is infecting Android devices with a new variant that mimics the Uber Android app's user interface. The trojan tries to fool users into entering their login credentials, which are then sent to remote servers. The hackers may use this data to steal the user's identity, or even earn money by selling credentials on the black market. Using a technique called deep linking, the trojan can load legitimate screens from the official Uber app creating a false sense of security. The trojan can affect devices only if users download infected apps from untrusted sources outside the official Play Store. Read more here.
STARTUP UNVEILS SMART SHOES WITH FALLING ALERT
January 8, 2018 — A French startup called E-Vone has developed smart shoes with an alert system that detects if the wearer takes a fall. The smart shoes can notify family or medical services in case of a mishap. The shoes are equipped with a GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope and a pressure system to detect the movement of the user. According to E-Vone, the shoes are designed for older adults, construction workers, and hikers. Read more here.
CHINA TESTS ITS FIRST PHOTOVOLTAIC ROAD
January 4, 2018 — China has successfully tested its first photo-voltaic highway in the Shandong province. The highway is constructed using solar panels with a thin sheet of concrete on top to protect the panels. China plans to use the panels to wirelessly transfer the energy to electric vehicles passing on top of the road surface. The length of the photovoltaic road is 1 kilometer and covers 5,785 square meters. Notably, France was the first country to introduce roads embedded with solar panels. Read more here.
NEW APP HELPS LOCATE PEOPLE IN DISTRESS WITHOUT A PHONE SIGNAL
January 2, 2018 — Researchers at the University of Alicante in Spain have developed a new technique to locate people in remote locations without a phone signal. The application uses Wi-Fi to emit a distress signal that can be detected over a distance of a few kilometers. Users can include their position coordinates and a short message in the emitted signal. The system can also be used in emergency situations, like earthquakes and floods, where mobile infrastructure is rendered useless. Read more here.