Scientists Need to Talk More About Failure

Scientists Need to Talk More About Failure

Despite this, scientific failure is rarely talked about openly, which was why when University of Arizona astrophysicist Erika Hamden used her TED 2019 talk last week to share how her work has been characterized by setback after setback, it felt like a radical act.

Don't Praise the Sri Lankan Government for Blocking Facebook

Don't Praise the Sri Lankan Government for Blocking Facebook

After a series of bombings killed over 300 people in Sri Lanka Easter Sunday, the country’s government blocked access to social media sites including Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and the chat app Viber, according to state media and independent organizations that monitor internet blocks.

Hackers Can Tell What Netflix Bandersnatch Choices You Make

Hackers Can Tell What Netflix Bandersnatch Choices You Make

In practice, though, the researchers say that they can analyze Netflix's encrypted interactive video traffic to find clues about what users are watching, and which choices they've made in their movie journeys.

First Big Survey of Births Finds Millions of Missing Women

First Big Survey of Births Finds Millions of Missing Women

But a massive effort to catalogue the sex ratios at birth, for the first time, for every country, shows that’s not such a smart strategy after all.“For so long people just took that number for granted,” says Fengqing Chao, a public health researcher at the Institute of Policy Studies in Singapore.

Meet Blue: The Cheap and Manipulative (In a Good Way) Robot

Meet Blue: The Cheap and Manipulative (In a Good Way) Robot

It’s my own robotic doppelgänger, kind of like the human-piloted, monster-fighting bots of Pacific Rim , only way cheaper. Plus, because Blue is tough, researchers can push it harder than they would a pricier machine that’s more sensitive to the world around it.

The Tricky Ethics of Google's Cloud Ambitions

The Tricky Ethics of Google's Cloud Ambitions

Google’s attempt to wrest more cloud computing dollars from market leaders Amazon and Microsoft got a new boss late last year. Microsoft has its own internal ethical review process for AI deals and also says it has turned down some AI projects .

How the Brain Links Gestures, Perception, and Meaning

How the Brain Links Gestures, Perception, and Meaning

More than a century ago, the psychologist Walter Pillsbury wrote: “There is nothing in the mind that has not been explained in terms of movement.” This concept has its modern incarnation in the mirror neuron theory, which posits that the ability to glean meaning from gesture and speech can be explained by the activation of single cells in key brain regions.

HTTPS Isn't Always As Secure As It Seems

HTTPS Isn't Always As Secure As It Seems

Vulnerabilities that are full-on "leaky" involve more deeply flawed encryption channels between browsers and web servers that would enable an attacker to decrypt all the traffic passing through them.

Women's Pain Is Different From Men's—the Drugs Could Be Too

Women's Pain Is Different From Men's—the Drugs Could Be Too

Tailoring new medicines to men or women would be revolutionary, particularly considering that it took many years for women (and female animals) to get included in pain research at all.

AI Algorithms Are Now Shockingly Good at Doing Science

AI Algorithms Are Now Shockingly Good at Doing Science

(The software they used treats the latent space somewhat differently from the way a generative adversarial network treats it, so it is not technically a GAN, though similar.) Their model created artificial data sets as a way of testing hypotheses about physical processes.

Most Android Antivirus Apps Are Garbage

Most Android Antivirus Apps Are Garbage

In a survey of 250 antivirus apps found in the Google Play Store, only 80 demonstrated basic competence at their jobs by detecting 30 percent or more of the 2,000 malicious apps AV-Comparatives threw at them.

Facebook Can Make VR Avatars Look—and Move—Exactly Like You

Facebook Can Make VR Avatars Look—and Move—Exactly Like You

(They've since moved to a larger space on the Carnegie Mellon campus, with plans to expand again in the next year or two.) Codec Avatars, as Facebook Reality Labs calls them, are the result of a process that uses machine learning to collect, learn, and re-create human social expression.

Inside the ‘Black Box’ of a Neural Network

Inside the ‘Black Box’ of a Neural Network

By inserting a postage-stamp image of a baseball, they found they could confuse the neural network into thinking a whale was a shark.

Why Chinese Companies Plug a US Test for Facial Recognition

Why Chinese Companies Plug a US Test for Facial Recognition

“Both Chinese and international customers ask about it.” Yitu’s technology is in use by police, and at subway stations and ATMs. It’s currently ranked first on one of NIST’s two main tests, which challenges algorithms to detect when two photos show the same face.

ATM Hacking Has Gotten So Easy, the Malware's a Game

ATM Hacking Has Gotten So Easy, the Malware's a Game

(But at that point, ATM cyberthief, why would you?) “These people do have a sense of humor and some spare time.” Konstantin Zykov, Kaspersky Lab Kaspersky started tracking the WinPot family of malware back in March of last year, and in that time has seen a few technical versions on the theme.

The AI Text Generator That's Too Dangerous to Make Public

The AI Text Generator That's Too Dangerous to Make Public

LEARN MORE The WIRED Guide to Artificial Intelligence Hammond cofounded a startup called Narrative Science that generates business documents like financial reports by translating data into text.

Americans Are Abandoning Public Transit—but Don't Blame Uber

Americans Are Abandoning Public Transit—but Don't Blame Uber

And while Uber and Lyft have grabbed headlines for convincing people to abandon transit in big cities like New York and Chicago, the TransitCenter advocates argue that the effects of those services are limited to just a few dense, urban places.

There's Still So Much We Need to Learn About Weed—and Fast

There's Still So Much We Need to Learn About Weed—and Fast

With its proximity to the legendary growing regions of Northern California, the center can start to quantify this historically secretive industry, measuring its toll on the environment and looking at how existing rules affect the growers themselves.

The Push to Legalize Magic Mushrooms for Depression and PTSD

The Push to Legalize Magic Mushrooms for Depression and PTSD

But his doctors are aware and supportive of his psychedelic drug use, he says, which may legally exempt him under the federal Right To Try Act for terminally ill patients, signed by President Trump last May. Indeed, magic mushrooms are having a therapeutic moment.

A Google Chrome Extension Will Save You From Unsafe Passwords

A Google Chrome Extension Will Save You From Unsafe Passwords

A Google Chrome Extension Will Save You From Unsafe Passwords Casey Chin Data breaches that compromise people's usernames and passwords have become so common, and used in crime for so long, that millions of stolen credential pairs have actually become practically worthless to criminals, circulating online for free.

Why Facebook's Banned 'Research' App Was So Invasive

Why Facebook's Banned 'Research' App Was So Invasive

In order to allow people with iPhones to participate, Facebook sidestepped the strict privacy rules imposed by Apple in its App Store by taking advantage of a business applications program designed for internal company use.

Hackers Are Passing Around a Megaleak of 2.2 Billion Records

Hackers Are Passing Around a Megaleak of 2.2 Billion Records

Now, it seems, someone has cobbled together those breached databases and many more into a gargantuan, unprecedented collection of 2.2 billion unique usernames and associated passwords, and is freely distributing them on hacker forums and torrents, throwing out the private data of a significant fraction of humanity like last year's phone book.

By Defying Apple’s Rules, Facebook Shows It Never Learns

By Defying Apple’s Rules, Facebook Shows It Never Learns

After the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica was accused of violating Facebook’s rules by harvesting and retaining data on tens of millions of users without their knowledge, Facebook banned nearly every app the company had ever touched, including some unaffiliated research apps that were associated with the University of Cambridge.

And Now, the Weather: Mars-like, With a Chance of Apocalypse

And Now, the Weather: Mars-like, With a Chance of Apocalypse

In 2004, Meehl and Claudia Tebaldi predicted that climate change would lead to worse, more frequent heat waves; turns out they were right. “The cold air kind of pinches and stretches into two border vortices,” says Judah Cohen, a climatologist with Atmospheric and Environmental Research.

For Brown Bears and Salmon, It’s Not Just About Numbers

For Brown Bears and Salmon, It’s Not Just About Numbers

Looking at streams on Alaska’s Kodiak Island, the researchers found that the varied timing of salmon migrations likely matters as much as abundance. Previous research found that this variance in migration timing among streams matters a lot to brown bears and other wildlife that feed on salmon.

Screens Might Be as Bad for Mental Health as … Potatoes

Screens Might Be as Bad for Mental Health as … Potatoes

If they’re pessimists, they tend to find negative ones." LEARN MORE The WIRED Guide to Internet Addiction In the latest issue of Nature Human Behavior , Przybylski and coauthor Amy Orben use a novel statistical method to show why scientists studying these colossal data sets have been getting such different results and why most of the associations researchers have found, positive and negative, are very small—and probably not worth freaking out about.

Forget the Blood of Teens. This Pill Promises to Extend Life for a Nickel a Pop

Forget the Blood of Teens. This Pill Promises to Extend Life for a Nickel a Pop

Rather than trying to develop a wildly expensive, highly speculative therapy that will likely only benefit the billionaire-demigod set, Barzilai wants to convince the FDA to put its seal of approval on an antiaging drug for the rest of us: A cheap, generic, demonstrably safe pharmaceutical that has already shown, in a host of preliminary studies, that it may be able to help stave off many of the worst parts of growing old.

A Worldwide Hacking Spree Uses DNS Trickery to Nab Data

A Worldwide Hacking Spree Uses DNS Trickery to Nab Data

Using a classic tactic to undermine data security as it moves across the web, hackers have grabbed sensitive data like login credentials and business details from telecoms, internet service providers, government organizations, and other institutions in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and North America.

How Corning Makes Super-Pure Glass for Fiber-Optic Cable

How Corning Makes Super-Pure Glass for Fiber-Optic Cable

The remarkable thing about the hair-thin strands of optical fiber that Corning and other companies sell today is that any single strand of glass can carry many different beams of light at the same time, each beam wobbling at its own frequency and using its own method of encoding information.

The Elite Intel Team Still Fighting Meltdown and Spectre

The Elite Intel Team Still Fighting Meltdown and Spectre

"In the past no one was aware of these issues, so they weren’t willing to sacrifice any performance for security." Jon Masters, Red Hat At the center of these efforts for Intel is STORM, the company's strategic offensive research and mitigation group, a team of hackers from around the world tasked with heading off next-generation security threats.

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