Technology

Another “missing” component could revolutionize electronics

Back in 1971, Leon Chua, a young electronics engineer at the University of California, Berkeley, began working on a fundamental mathematical framework for electronics. His theory was based on the relationships between charge, current, magnetic flux, and voltage and the way these electromagnetic quantities vary as they pass through the basic circuit elements of resistors, capacitors, and inductors. A current passing through a resistor ...

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The machine vision challenge to better analyse satellite images of Earth

Machine vision technology has revolutionised the way we see the world. Machines now outperform humans in tasks such as facial recognition and many types of object recognition. And this technology is now employed in a wide range of applications from security systems to self-driving vehicles. But there are still areas where machine vision techniques have yet to make such a ...

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Job of the future: Embalming your online persona

When her mother had a severe accident that left her with quadriplegia, Annette Adamska realized how little she knew about her. Adamska didn’t know how her mother handled her money or online accounts, and her passwords were hidden away, written in code in a journal. They had a few months to speak about getting things in order before she passed ...

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Inside the business model for botnets

Botnets are shadowy networks of computers controlled by hidden actors and linked to everything that’s bad on the web. They have been implicated in distributed denial-of-service attacks, spamming campaigns, click fraud, and bank fraud, to name just a few of the nastiest flavors of cybercrime. Clearly somebody, somewhere is making a fortune masterminding this kind of criminal activity. But just how ...

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This article was written by a human (the next one may not be)

Justin Myers says he isn’t automating away any jobs: he’s augmenting them. Myers is the automation editor at the Associated Press, which is best known for its news coverage but has lately built software that can automatically generate and publish content. Created in collaboration with the firm Automated Insights, it pulls data from documents like financial earnings reports to quickly ...

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If quantum computers threaten blockchains, quantum blockchains could be the defense

  A blockchain is a mathematical structure that stores data securely over time. The idea has risen to fame on the back of the Bitcoin boom. Bitcoin relies on blockchains to securely store its related currency transactions. But the same technology can store any kind of data—shipping data, the progress of computer programs, smart contracts, and so on. Indeed, blockchains ...

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Computer scientists have found the longest straight line you could sail without hitting land

Back in 2012, a curious debate emerged on the discussion website Reddit, specifically on a subreddit called /r/MapPorn. Here the user Kepleronlyknows posted a map of the world purporting to show the longest navigable straight-line path over water without hitting land. The route began in Pakistan and followed a great circle under Africa and South America until it hit eastern ...

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