Scientists grow mini-brain that can contract muscle, connect to spinal cord

Scientists have grown a miniature brain in a dish with a spinal cord and muscles attached, an advance that promises to accelerate the study of conditions such as motor neurone disease. The lentil-sized grey blob of human brain cells were seen to spontaneously send out tendril-like connections to link up with the spinal cord and Read more about Scientists grow mini-brain that can contract muscle, connect to spinal cord[…]

Apple Spat With Spotify Is a Fight for Its Future—and It’s Failing to Make Its Case

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been more than clear that services like the iOS App Store are an essential part of the company’s future as consumers hang onto devices for longer and longer periods between upgrades. When Spotify filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple this week, it fired a direct shot at the tech giant’s Read more about Apple Spat With Spotify Is a Fight for Its Future—and It’s Failing to Make Its Case[…]

17 Scientists call for global moratorium on gene editing of embryos – where’s the fun in that?

The move is intended to send a clear signal to maverick researchers, and the scientific community more broadly, that any attempt to rewrite the DNA of sperm, eggs or embryos destined for live births is not acceptable. Beyond a formal freeze on any such work, the experts want countries to register and declare any plans Read more about 17 Scientists call for global moratorium on gene editing of embryos – where’s the fun in that?[…]

MtGox bitcoin founder gets suspended sentence for data tampering

A Japanese court sentenced the former high-flying creator of the MtGox bitcoin exchange to a suspended jail sentence of two and a half years Friday after finding him guilty of data manipulation. The Tokyo District Court convicted Mark Karpeles, a 33-year-old computer whizz from France, for tampering with computer data but acquitted him over charges Read more about MtGox bitcoin founder gets suspended sentence for data tampering[…]

US Air Force buys new  build 70s era vintage F-15EX fleet because F-35 is too expensive

The new-build F-15 was not part of the service’s original budget plans, but was added because the type has lower lifetime operating costs, the USAF acknowledges. The service is committed to buying 72 fighters per year, but cannot afford to purchase only F-35As because of that aircraft’s high operating costs – which average about $35,000 Read more about US Air Force buys new  build 70s era vintage F-15EX fleet because F-35 is too expensive[…]

Physicists reverse time using quantum computer

Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology teamed up with colleagues from the U.S. and Switzerland and returned the state of a quantum computer a fraction of a second into the past. They also calculated the probability that an electron in empty interstellar space will spontaneously travel back into its recent past. The Read more about Physicists reverse time using quantum computer[…]

Nonprofit OpenAI looks at the bill to craft a Holy Grail AGI, gulps, spawns commercial arm to bag investors’ mega-bucks – the end of Open in OpenAI?

OpenAI, a leading machine-learning lab, has launched for-profit spin-off OpenAI LP – so it can put investors’ cash toward the expensive task of building artificial general intelligence. The San-Francisco-headquartered organisation was founded in late 2015 as a nonprofit, with a mission to build, and encourage the development of, advanced neural network systems that are safe Read more about Nonprofit OpenAI looks at the bill to craft a Holy Grail AGI, gulps, spawns commercial arm to bag investors’ mega-bucks – the end of Open in OpenAI?[…]

Scientists have discovered a shape that blocks all sound–even your co-workers

A team of Boston University researchers recently stuck a loudspeaker into one end of a PVC pipe. They cranked it up loud. What did they hear? Nothing. How was this possible? Did they block the other end of the pipe with noise canceling foams or a chunk of concrete? No, nothing of the sort. The Read more about Scientists have discovered a shape that blocks all sound–even your co-workers[…]

Radio gaga: Techies fear EU directive to stop RF device tinkering will do more harm than good

EU plans to ban the sale of user-moddable radio frequency devices – like phones and routers – have provoked widespread condemnation from across the political bloc. The controversy centres on Article 3(3)(i) of the EU Radio Equipment Directive, which was passed into law back in 2014. However, an EU working group is now about to Read more about Radio gaga: Techies fear EU directive to stop RF device tinkering will do more harm than good[…]

Why Is Customer Service So Bad? Because It’s Profitable.

American consumers spend, on average, 13 hours per year in calling queue. According to a 2010 study by Mike Desmarais in the journal Cost Management, a third of complaining customers must make two or more calls to resolve their complaint. And that ignores the portion who simply give up out of exasperation after the first Read more about Why Is Customer Service So Bad? Because It’s Profitable.[…]

Smart alarms left 3 million cars vulnerable to hackers who could turn off motors, unlock doors remotely

Two popular smart alarm systems for cars had major security flaws that allowed potential hackers to track the vehicles, unlock their doors and, in some cases, cut off the engine. The vulnerabilities could be exploited with two simple steps, security researchers from Pen Test Partners, who discovered the flaw, said Friday. The problems were found Read more about Smart alarms left 3 million cars vulnerable to hackers who could turn off motors, unlock doors remotely[…]

Freelance devs: Oh, you wanted the app to be secure? The job spec didn’t mention that

Freelance developers hired to implement password-based security systems do so about as effectively as computer science students, which is to say not very well at all. Boffins at the University of Bonn in Germany set out to expand on research in 2017 and 2018 that found computer science students asked to implement a user registration Read more about Freelance devs: Oh, you wanted the app to be secure? The job spec didn’t mention that[…]

From hard drive to over-heard drive: Boffins convert spinning rust into eavesdropping mic, if you shout!

Eggheads at the University of Michigan in the US, and Zhejiang University in China, have found that hard disk drives (HDDs) can be turned into listening devices, using malicious firmware and signal processing calculations. For a study titled “Hard Drive of Hearing: Disks that Eavesdrop with a Synthesized Microphone,” computer scientists Andrew Kwong, Wenyuan Xu, Read more about From hard drive to over-heard drive: Boffins convert spinning rust into eavesdropping mic, if you shout![…]

Iranian hackers ransack Citrix, make off with 6TB+ of emails, biz docs, internal secrets – they had to be told by the FBI that they were hacked at all

Citrix today warned its customers that foreign hackers romped through its internal company network and stole corporate secrets. The enterprise software giant – which services businesses, the American military, and various US government agencies – said it was told by the FBI on Wednesday that miscreants had accessed Citrix’s IT systems and exfiltrated a significant Read more about Iranian hackers ransack Citrix, make off with 6TB+ of emails, biz docs, internal secrets – they had to be told by the FBI that they were hacked at all[…]

Chelsea Manning jailed for refusing to testify on Wikileaks

Former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who served years in prison for leaking one of the largest troves of classified documents in U.S. history, has been sent to jail for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating Wikileaks. U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton ordered Manning to jail for contempt of court Friday after a Read more about Chelsea Manning jailed for refusing to testify on Wikileaks[…]

Researchers are training image-generating AI with fewer labels by letting the model infer the labels

Generative AI models have a propensity for learning complex data distributions, which is why they’re great at producing human-like speech and convincing images of burgers and faces. But training these models requires lots of labeled data, and depending on the task at hand, the necessary corpora are sometimes in short supply. The solution might lie in Read more about Researchers are training image-generating AI with fewer labels by letting the model infer the labels[…]

Google launches TensorFlow Lite 1.0 for mobile and embedded devices

Google today introduced TensorFlow Lite 1.0, its framework for developers deploying AI models on mobile and IoT devices. Improvements include selective registration and quantization during and after training for faster, smaller models. Quantization has led to 4 times compression of some models. “We are going to fully support it. We’re not going to break things Read more about Google launches TensorFlow Lite 1.0 for mobile and embedded devices[…]

Leaked Documents Show the U.S. Government Tracking Journalists and Immigration Advocates Through a Secret Database, having them detained at borders

One photojournalist said she was pulled into secondary inspections three times and asked questions about who she saw and photographed in Tijuana shelters. Another photojournalist said she spent 13 hours detained by Mexican authorities when she tried to cross the border into Mexico City. Eventually, she was denied entry into Mexico and sent back to Read more about Leaked Documents Show the U.S. Government Tracking Journalists and Immigration Advocates Through a Secret Database, having them detained at borders[…]

When 2FA means sweet FA privacy: Facebook admits it slurps mobe numbers for more than just profile security

This time, the Silicon Valley giant has been caught red-handed using people’s cellphone numbers, provided exclusively for two-factor authentication, for targeted advertising and search – after it previously insinuated it wouldn’t do that. Folks handing over their mobile numbers to protect their accounts from takeovers and hijackings thought the contact detail would be used for Read more about When 2FA means sweet FA privacy: Facebook admits it slurps mobe numbers for more than just profile security[…]

Welding glass to metal breakthrough could transform manufacturing

Scientists from Heriot-Watt University have welded glass and metal together using an ultrafast laser system, in a breakthrough for the manufacturing industry. Various optical materials such as quartz, borosilicate glass and even sapphire were all successfully welded to metals like aluminium, titanium and stainless steel using the Heriot-Watt laser system, which provides very short, picosecond Read more about Welding glass to metal breakthrough could transform manufacturing[…]

SPOILER alert, literally: Intel CPUs afflicted with simple data-spewing spec-exec vulnerability

Further demonstrating the computational risks of looking into the future, boffins have found another way to abuse speculative execution in Intel CPUs to steal secrets and other data from running applications. This security shortcoming can be potentially exploited by malicious JavaScript within a web browser tab, or malware running on a system, or rogue logged-in Read more about SPOILER alert, literally: Intel CPUs afflicted with simple data-spewing spec-exec vulnerability[…]

Apples’ Shazam for iOS Sheds 3rd Party SDKs. Keeps pumping your data through on Android.

Shazam, the song identification app Apple bought for $400M, recently released an update to its iOS app that got rid of all 3rd party SDKs the app was using except for one. The SDKs that were removed include ad networks, analytics trackers, and even open-source utilities. Why, you ask? Because all of those SDKs leak Read more about Apples’ Shazam for iOS Sheds 3rd Party SDKs. Keeps pumping your data through on Android.[…]

Facebook receives personal health data from apps, even if you don’t have a FB account

Facebook receives highly personal information from apps that track your health and help you find a new home, testing by The Wall Street Journal found. Facebook can receive this data from certain apps even if the user does not have a Facebook account, according to the Journal. Facebook has already been in hot water concerning Read more about Facebook receives personal health data from apps, even if you don’t have a FB account[…]

W3C approves WebAuthn as the web standard for password-free logins using FIDO2

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today declared that the Web Authentication API (WebAuthn) is now an official web standard. First announced by the W3C and the FIDO Alliance in November 2015, WebAuthn is now an open standard for password-free logins on the web. It is supported by W3C contributors, including Airbnb, Alibaba, Apple, Google, Read more about W3C approves WebAuthn as the web standard for password-free logins using FIDO2[…]