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Posts Tagged "computers"

Guest Blog

A Guardian “Agent” to Protect You from Digital Fraud

The orignial GORT, a member of an interstellar police force in the 1951 science fiction film "The Day the Earth Stood Still". (Credit Peter Petrus via Flickr)

Today, maintaining privacy without guided assistance is an onerous task, whose initial costs are high, immediate rewards low and solutions fragile and constantly evolving. The moment after perfectly balancing your Facebook privacy settings, a new “feature” is introduced and suddenly potential employers can view your bachelor party photos. While you admit you should password protect [...]

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Guest Blog

Researchers Discover Hacker-Ready Computer Chips

Computer Chip X-Ray

A pair of security researchers in the U.K. have released a paper [PDF] documenting what they describe as the “first real world detection of a backdoor” in a microchip—an opening that could allow a malicious actor to monitor or change the information on the chip. The researchers, Sergei Skorobogatov of the University of Cambridge and [...]

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Guest Blog

How Alan Turing Invented the Computer Age

alan turing, computers, artificial intelligence

In 1936, whilst studying for his Ph.D. at Princeton University, the English mathematician Alan Turing published a paper, “On Computable Numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem,” which became the foundation of computer science. In it Turing presented a theoretical machine that could solve any problem that could be described by simple instructions encoded on [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

Expert Cancer Care May Soon Be Everywhere, Thanks to Watson

Watson. Courtesy of IBM.

This blog is the first in a series of guest posts on technology and the brain to celebrate Scientific American Mind’s 10-year anniversary. The magazine’s special November/December issue similarly highlights the interface between code and thought in profiling a future, more digital YOU.   “You know my methods, Watson.” – Sherlock Holmes Even those who [...]

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Observations

“Flame” Malware Greatly Expands the Scope of Cyber Warfare

The discovery of a new species of highly sophisticated malware earlier this week adds another puzzle piece to the contemporary cyberwar battleground. Flame, as it’s called, is a whopper of a program—20 megabytes, the size of a video file, and 40 times bigger than the Stuxnet virus that took down Iranium centrifuges back in 2010.  But [...]

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Plugged In

Looking forward: energy efficiency from the computer to the cloud

Last month MIT’s Technology Review reported on a new development that the energy efficiency of computers doubles roughly every 18 months: The conclusion, backed up by six decades of data, mirrors Moore’s law, the observation from Intel founder Gordon Moore that computer processing power doubles about every 18 months. But the power-consumption trend might have [...]

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Plugged In

Technology for the rest of us

As you’ve no doubt read, Apple CEO Steve Jobs is stepping down from the company he co-founded three decades ago. Tim Cook will take over the reigns for the long-term, and has served as COO since 200. For those who don’t follow Apple nerdery obsessively like I do, This Is My Next has a profile [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

On TV, Ray Kurzweil Tells Me How to Build a Brain

Ray Kurzweil

I recently interviewed author and inventor Ray Kurzweil about his new book, “How to Create A Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed.” The 58-minute segment aired on December 1, 2 and 3 on the C-SPAN2 program “After Words.” The book’s thesis is that it is essentially possible to reverse-engineer the human brain to create [...]

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Talking back

Tuesday Update: Will Leading Scientists Boycott the Humonguous Human Brain Project?

Scientists don’t usually lodge a protest against projects funded to the tune of 1.2 billion euros. They usually try to make nice with the organizers to get in on the action. No one is taking to the streets this time, but more than 200 people (and climbing), among them prominent scientists, are using the megaphone [...]

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Talking back

Big Neuroscience: Billions and Billions (Maybe) to Unravel Mysteries of the Brain

The era of Big Neuroscience has arrived. In late January, The Human Brain Project—an attempt to create a computer simulation of the brain at every scale from the nano nano to the macro biotic—announced that it had successfully arranged a billion Euro funding package for a 10-year run. And then on Feb. 18, an article [...]

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