Technology and Science

Flaw lets hackers read data over secure Wi-Fi

Belgian researchers have discovered a flaw in a widely used system for securing Wi-Fi communications that could allow hackers to read information that was previously understood to be encrypted, or infect websites with malware, they said on Monday. Researchers Mathy Vanhoef and Frank Piessens of Belgian university KU Leuven disclosed the bug in the WPA2 protocol, which secures modern Wi-Fi systems used by vendors for wireless communications ...

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Astronomers see source of gravitational waves for 1st time

A never-before-seen explosion from the merger of two dense astral bodies known as neutron stars has been viewed with telescopes for the first time. “We did it again,” National Science Foundation’s director France Cordova said in a press conference on Monday. The explosion occurred in a galaxy 130 million light years from Earth. When these two small, but densely packed, ...

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Mass die-off of Antarctic penguin chicks alarms researchers

Almost the entire cohort of chicks from an Adelie penguin colony in the eastern Antarctic was wiped out by starvation last summer in what scientists say is only the second such incident in over 40 years. Researchers said Sunday the mass die-off occurred because unusually large amounts of sea ice forced penguin parents to travel farther in search of food ...

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UBC researchers pull paper linking vaccine component to autism after data alleged to be manipulated

Researchers from the University of British Columbia are retracting their scientific paper linking aluminum in vaccines to autism in mice, because one of the co-authors claims figures published in the study were deliberately altered before publication — an issue he says he realized after allegations of data manipulation surfaced online. The professor also told CBC News there’s no way to know “why” or “how” the figures were ...

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Montreal AI pioneer warns against unethical uses of new tech

Two artificial intelligence pioneers warn that unscrupulous or unethical uses of the technology risk undermining the public image of an area of research undergoing rapid change. Yoshua Bengio, the head of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms, is known as the “godfather” of Canadian deep learning. He believes the sector and governments need to address concerns including the building of so-called killer robots and development ...

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Cannabis research booms with backing of commercial growers

The budding marijuana industry is spurring new research around cannabis that will have long-term effects on a variety of fields, from farming to new medicine, as companies look for solid scientific data on the substance. With the looming legalization of recreational pot next summer, and the expansion of licensed medical marijuana producers, scientists at the University of Guelph say more ...

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‘Morphing skin’ of octopus inspires robotic camouflage

Engineers working in a field called soft robotics have taken inspiration from the shape-shifting ways of the octopus to develop a programmable 3D material that can change its appearance. Their invention, reported Thursday in the journal Science, could have far-reaching applications ranging from high-tech military camouflage to smart devices that change their interfaces to suit users’ needs.    “If you think about ...

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Babbling with your baby just got scientific

If you’ve ever caught yourself using baby talk with a young infant, you’re not alone. New research is looking into this so-called “motherese.” That’s the high-pitched, sing-songy chatter that many parents, not just moms, use when they speak to their babies. What was the main finding of this new research from Princeton University? The research looked into understanding that higher pitched ...

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Feds tell European Space Agency it’s unhappy with plan to drop rocket in Arctic waters

The federal government has told the European Space Agency it’s unhappy about plans to launch a satellite on Friday that would drop a rocket stage likely containing toxic fuel in the sensitive waters of the Canadian Arctic. The European Space Agency’s Sentinel-5P satellite was launched Friday by a Rokot missile from the Plesetsk launch pad in northwestern Russia. The satellite ...

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Lab-grown diamonds touted as ethical alternative

They are real diamonds. That’s what the industry behind diamonds made inside a scientific laboratory wants you to believe. Their chemical composition is exactly the same as that of a natural diamond, said Kelly Good, the director of marketing for Pure Grown Diamonds.  “What we’ve done is we’ve just taken what’s happened in nature and just put it in a lab.” ...

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