Georgia Tech trio to reveal iOS test exploit at Black Hat

center_img They pushed software onto an iOS device using a charger. They will provide more detail at the Black Hat event conference which takes place in Las Vegas from July 27 to August 1.Technology-watching sites have already, though, posted the Black Hat web site’s overview description of the upcoming talk. The one word that stands out in the summary is “alarming.” They wrote that “Apple iOS devices are considered by many to be more secure than other mobile offerings. In evaluating this belief, we investigated the extent to which security threats were considered when performing everyday activities such as charging a device.”That is when the “A” word came in. They said, “The results were alarming: despite the plethora of defense mechanisms in iOS, we successfully injected arbitrary software into current-generation Apple devices running the latest operating system (OS) software.” Their investigation did not need a jailbroken device and it did not need any user interaction. The charger was built around a single-board computer, the open source BeagleBoard. “We built a proof of concept malicious charger, called Mactans, using a BeagleBoard,” they wrote. They chose BeagleBoard to show how easy it was to construct “malicious” USB chargers. BeagleBoard in a single small package can work with the functionality of a laptop. Its roots are in a group of people including several employees of Texas Instruments who provided a low-cost, fan-less single-board computers based on low-power Texas Instruments processors featuring the ARM Cortex-A series core.The three pose the question that if they were able to build Mactans in a limited amount of time and with a small budget, what could motivated, better-funded people with bad intentions accomplish? The authors said they can recommend ways in which users can protect themselves and can suggest security features that Apple can put in place to make attacks by way of chargers more difficult to accomplish.Andy Greenberg of Forbes spoke to one of the Georgia Tech team, Yeongjin Jang, who said that Apple had been contacted about the exploit. iOS 6.1: Apple updates software for iPhone, iPad Explore furtherlast_img read more

Combined team of physicists and biologists build Lyme disease detector using carbon

first_img Researchers attach Lyme disease antibodies to nanotubes, paving way for diagnostic device © 2013 Citation: Combined team of physicists and biologists build Lyme disease detector using carbon nanotube sensor (2013, June 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Mitchell B. Lerner, Jennifer Dailey, Brett R. Goldsmith, Dustin Brisson, A.T. Charlie Johnson, Detecting Lyme disease using antibody-functionalized single-walled carbon nanotube transistors, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, Volume 45, 15 July 2013, Pages 163–167. examined the potential of antibody-functionalized single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) field-effect transistors (FETs) to use as a fast and accurate sensor for a Lyme disease antigen. Biosensors were fabricated on oxidized silicon wafers using chemical vapor deposition grown carbon nanotubes that were functionalized using diazonium salts. Attachment of Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme) flagellar antibodies to the nanotubes was verified by atomic force microscopy and electronic measurements. A reproducible shift in the turn-off voltage of the semiconducting SWNT FETs was seen upon incubation with B. burgdorferi flagellar antigen, indicative of the nanotube FET being locally gated by the residues of flagellar protein bound to the antibody. This sensor effectively detected antigen in buffer at concentrations as low as 1 ng/ml, and the response varied strongly over a concentration range coinciding with levels of clinical interest. Generalizable binding chemistry gives this biosensing platform the potential to be expanded to monitor other relevant antigens, enabling a multiple vector sensor for Lyme disease. The speed and sensitivity of this biosensor make it an ideal candidate for development as a medical diagnostic test.via Nanotechweb Lyme disease is an infection caused by several types of bacteria—generally tick-borne, the disease can cause permanent nerve damage if not detected early. Currently patients must undergo a two-stage process as part of a diagnosis. The first is called an ELISA assay—it uses antibodies and color changes to identify substances. Because it tends to sometimes produce false positives, patients must also undergo what is known as a Western blot test—a test for the specific bacteria that cause the disease. It too tends to result in the occasional false positive however, which is why researchers continue to look for a more accurate way to detect the presence of the bacteria that causes the disease.In this new effort, the research team grew a large array of carbon nanotubes for use as sensors. Then using a new covalent-chemistry technique they developed they attached antibody proteins to the nanotubes. The antibodies attract and capture a type of protein found in the flagellum of bacteria that are the source of Lyme disease. The adhered protein causes a change in the how well the nanotube sensors are able to conduct electricity. By measuring changes in voltage, the researchers can determine if the bacteria are present in a single drop of blood.Besides being more accurate than the current method of testing for Lyme disease, the new device also can give researchers a better idea of how highly concentrated the antigens are in a patient—allowing doctors to prescribe the right amount of medicine for treatment. The nanotube based detector can also detect the presence of the bacteria much earlier than the current method, helping to prevent nerve damage and other health problems.The new sensor isn’t ready to be used by doctors just yet of course, it must be put through rigorous testing first. Also, the team believes they can improve their detector by making it sensitive to just the pieces of the antibodies that are responsible for antigen bonding, instead of the whole protein. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further ( —A team made up of researchers from both the physics and biology departments at the University of Pennsylvania has succeeded in building a Lyme disease detector using a carbon nanotube sensor. In their paper published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics, the team describes the process they used to make the device and how it works. Journal information: Biosensors and Bioelectronicslast_img read more

Cosmologist suggests universe might not be expanding after all

first_img( —Cosmologist Christof Wetterich of the University of Heidelberg has uploaded a paper to the arXiv server in which he claims it’s possible that the theory of expansion of the universe might be incorrect. He suggests instead that the redshift observed by researchers here on Earth might be caused by an increase in the mass in the universe. Journal information: arXiv Researchers detect B-mode polarization in cosmic microwave background Explore further Citation: Cosmologist suggests universe might not be expanding after all (2013, August 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Image credit: Hubble/NASAcenter_img More information: A Universe without expansion, arXiv:1303.6878 [astro-ph.CO] discuss a cosmological model where the universe shrinks rather than expands during the radiation and matter dominated periods. Instead, the Planck mass and all particle masses grow exponentially, with the size of atoms shrinking correspondingly. Only dimensionless ratios as the distance between galaxies divided by the atom radius are observable. Then the cosmological increase of this ratio can also be attributed to shrinking atoms. We present a simple model where the masses of particles arise from a scalar “cosmon” field, similar to the Higgs scalar. The potential of the cosmon is responsible for inflation and the present dark energy. Our model is compatible with all present observations. While the value of the cosmon field increases, the curvature scalar is almost constant during all cosmological epochs. Cosmology has no big bang singularity. There exist other, equivalent choices of field variables for which the universe shows the usual expansion or is static during the radiation or matter dominated epochs. For those “field coordinates“ the big bang is singular. Thus the big bang singularity turns out to be related to a singular choice of field coordinates.via Nature © 2013 For nearly a century, the consensus among astrophysicists has been that the universe started with a Big Bang and has been expanding ever since. This hypothesis formed because researchers found that in analyzing the light emitted from stars, a redshift occurred—where its frequency changes as an object that emits light moves away from us. But Wetterich says the redshift might me due to something else—an increase in the total mass in the universe.Wetterich’s idea is that light emitted from an atom is governed by the mass of its particles—if that atom were to become larger in mass, the light that it emits would change in frequency as its electrons became more energetic. More energy would appear as light moving toward the blue spectrum, while less energy (an atom losing mass), would move toward the red spectrum. Thus, Wetterich reasons, if the mass of observable objects were once less, we would now see them with a redshift as they expand. If his line of reasoning is true, Wetterich says it’s possible that the universe is actually contracting.Wetterich’s paper hasn’t been peer reviewed yet, but thus far, comments by others in the field suggest openness to this new line of thinking. That might be because one exciting prospect of this new theory is that it would do away with the idea of a singularity existing just before the Big Bang—a point at which conventional physics breaks down. Instead it might suggest that the universe is simply in a constant state of flux with no real beginning and no real end.Unfortunately, Wetterich’s theory can’t be tested because of the relative nature of mass. Everything we are able to see has a mass that is relative in size to everything else. Thus if it’s all growing, we wouldn’t have anything to measure it against to see that it’s happening. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

IHEP in China has ambitions for Higgs factory

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. China’s ambition is still in the proposal stage. The country’s biggest current collider, said the report, is just 240 meters in circumference. The proposal by China, said Nature, is quietly gathering momentum. Scientists at the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) in Beijing, plan to build a ‘Higgs factory’ by 2028, a 52-kilometer underground ring, said Nature, to smash together electrons and positrons. (According to symmetry, the concept of a Higgs factory can be traced back to as early as the mid-1990s, when scientists were floating ideas for small, relatively simple machines to aid dedicated study of the hypothesized boson.) According to the news report in Nature, “The initial call is for a 52-kilometer underground ring that would smash together electrons and positrons.” China hopes that it would be a stepping stone to a next-generation collider—a super proton–proton collider—in the same tunnel. “China would like to build its electron–positron collider in the meantime, unaided by international funding if needs be, and follow it up as fast as technologically possible with the super proton collider,” said Nature, by 2035. Guido Tonelli, a particle physicist and former head of one of the two major experiments at CERN, said if China is to eventually host a super collider, the project will have to be international, according to Nature.”Nobody would be able to do that alone.” IHEP director Yifang Wang said China would welcome international funding contributions for both projects; with a lot of support, the ring size could be expanded to 80 kilometers. At the same time, though, he said the country would not wait for collaborators before moving ahead. Wang added that construction could begin in as little as five years, according to Nature.The Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences manages a number of China’s major scientific facilities. They include the Beijing Electron Positron Collider, the Beijing Spectrometer, and the Beijing SynchrotronRadiation Facility (BSRF), among others. Since “the first successful e+e- collisions at the Beijing Electron Positron Collider (BEPC) in October 1988,” said the IHEP site, “IHEP has become established as one of the world’s major High Energy Physics (HEP) laboratories.” Why bigger accelerators are better in particle physics © 2014 More information: … Journal information: Nature Citation: IHEP in China has ambitions for Higgs factory (2014, July 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further Who will lay claim to having the world’s largest particle smasher?. Could China become the collider capital of the world? Questions tease answers, following a news story in Nature on Tuesday. Proposals for two particle accelerators could accelerate China itself as a scientific leader, upstaging the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Europe’s famous particle-physics laboratory, where the LHC is the world’s largest particle collider.last_img read more

Transparent wood made stronger than glass by applying epoxy

first_imgCredit: Advanced Materials (2016). DOI: 10.1002/adma.201600427 © 2016 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Mingwei Zhu et al. Highly Anisotropic, Highly Transparent Wood Composites, Advanced Materials (2016). DOI: 10.1002/adma.201600427AbstractFor the first time, two types of highly anisotropic, highly transparent wood composites are demonstrated by taking advantage of the macro-structures in original wood. These wood composites are highly transparent with a total transmittance up to 90% but exhibit dramatically different optical and mechanical properties. (—A team of researchers at the University of Maryland has taken the idea of making wood transparent one better, by making it stronger than glass and thus more useful for a variety of applications. In their paper published in the journal Advanced Materials, the team describes the process they have developed for making transparent wood stronger and why they believe it might be useful in solar panel development. Wood windows? Swedes develop transparent wood material for buildings and solar cellscenter_img Citation: Transparent wood made stronger than glass by applying epoxy (2016, May 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Journal information: Advanced Materials Making wood transparent was already reported last month by a team in Sweden, who found that it could be done by boiling pieces of wood in water, sodium hydroxide and a few other chemicals for approximately two hours to remove the lignin that gives wood its color. Afterwards, they applied a transparent polymer to give the resulting product back some of the resilience it lost when the lignin was removed. In this new effort, the researchers used approximately the same technique to remove the lignin, but then coated it with an epoxy to make the wood even stronger—stronger they report, than glass (and it is a better insulator), and it will biodegrade much better than plastic.As the team notes, treating wood does not destroy the channels in it that were originally used by the tree it came from to carry water. After treatment, the channels are able to carry light, a very useful property that might lead to transparent wood being used as a way to funnel more light to solar panels—testing has shown that as much as 90 percent of the light shone on it could pass through. It also means the wood is able to scatter light, which could make it useful as a privacy window—light could come through, but those passing by outside would not be able to make out the forms of people inside.The researchers believe their product might also prove useful in automobiles, because it is so light, or as building blocks in other applications, or even in optical equipment because it is so inexpensive to make. Before that can happen, though, more work needs to be done, because the current process only works on small pieces of wood—the test material was just five by five inches in area and only a centimeter thick. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Egyptian vultures found to engage in puzzling cosmetic mud bathing rituals

first_img(—A trio of researchers working at the Doñana Biological Station in Spain has found that Egyptian vultures living in the Canary Islands dip their head, neck and chest in red soil to color themselves. In their paper published in in the journal Ecology, Thijs van Overveld, Manuel de la Riva and José Antonio Donázar describe their observations, a small experiment they conducted, and offer some opinions regarding the reason for the unique behavior of the birds. Scientists have been studying plants and animals living in the Canary Islands for some time, one species that has been studied extensively is the Egyptian vulture—most that live on the islands have been banded to aid in tracking and telling them apart. As part of the study of the vultures, it has been noted that most if not all of them sport artificially induced reddish coloring of their feathers for periods of time, though until now, the behavior that leads to such coloring has not been studied. In this new effort, the researchers watched and filmed the birds and also conducted a small experiment to learn more about the source of the coloring and why it occurs.In watching the birds, both live and on tape, the researchers found that the source was red soil in water. The birds would slide their heads around in the red mud, then their necks and even their chests. That left the normally white feathers tinted red. The researchers found birds of nearly all ages and both genders engaged in the coloring ritual but found no behavior that might explain why they do it. To learn more about whether it was mud bathing or simply mushing about in a bath of sorts, the researchers placed bowls of water near one another in a spot frequented by the birds. One of the bowls was filled with fresh clean and clear water while the other had been tinted with red soil. They report that 18 of 91 birds that visited the bowls preferred the one with tinted water while just one went for the clean bath.The researchers suggest it is possible that the soil serves a hygienic or functional purpose, such as keeping bacteria or bugs at bay, but clearly believe it is more likely a means of communication, noting that the vultures are very social creatures. Citation: Egyptian vultures found to engage in puzzling cosmetic mud bathing rituals (2017, May 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further More information: Thijs van Overveld et al. Cosmetic coloration in Egyptian vultures: Mud bathing as a tool for social communication?, Ecology (2017). DOI: 10.1002/ecy.1840via Newscientistcenter_img © 2017 Journal information: Ecology Plumage color variation of Egyptian vultures on Fuerteventura. (a) A typical white bird (5-yr-old unpaired female, photo taken on 20 September 2016) (b) A bird with a very red plumage caused by extensive mud bathing (14-yr-old breeding male, photo taken on 31 May 2014). This type of plumage variation may occur in both sexes and during all parts of the year. Note that most birds only paint their head, neck and chest feathers. Credit: Ecology (2017). DOI: 10.1002/ecy.1840 Humans helped vultures colonize the Canary Islandslast_img read more

Simulations suggests Venus may once have had an ocean

first_img The planet Venus today has a barren landscape and is extremely hot—likely too hot to harbor life. But the researchers with this new effort believe that at some point in the distant past, there was enough cloud cover over the planet to make surface conditions cool enough to support an ocean.As the researchers note, Venus rotates very slowly compared to Earth—one Venus day takes approximately 116 days on Earth. This is one of the factors the researchers took into consideration as they built their model. They also added other factors such as carbon dioxide levels, heat from the sun and estimated water on the planet—along with data from prior work resulting in theories regarding how planets form. Most such theories suggest that rocky planets like Venus would have been extremely hot during their early stages due to the energy involved in their formation. The researchers assumed that was the case for Venus and attempted to recreate those early conditions in their simulation to show what might have happened as the planet cooled.The researchers note that if early Venus had the same amount of carbon dioxide as today, it would be enough to allow for water to exist on the surface under cooler conditions—and if there were sufficient cloud cover, the simulation showed, the planet would need just 30 percent of the mass of the Earth’s oceans to form its own shallow ocean. The researchers acknowledge that the computer simulations do not prove Venus had an ocean, but instead merely suggest it was possible. To date, multiple craft have made landings on the planet’s surface (the Soviet Union’s Venera series in the 1970s and early 1980s) but none were capable of digging beneath the surface to see how much water was there, if any. If enough was found, it would strongly bolster theories regarding the possibility of an ancient ocean. (—A team of researchers with Université Paris-Saclay has found evidence suggesting that the planet Venus may once have had an ocean. In their paper published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, the group describes entering a multitude of data into a computer simulation and running it using different parameters, showing the likelihood that Venus once had a thick cloud cover and a thin ocean. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Credit: NASA Mystery of rare volcanoes on Venus © 2017 More information: A. Salvador et al. The relative influence of H2 O and CO2 on the primitive surface conditions and evolution of rocky planets, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets (2017). DOI: 10.1002/2017JE005286AbstractHow the volatile content influences the primordial surface conditions of terrestrial planets and, thus, their future geodynamic evolution is an important question to answer. We simulate the secular convective cooling of a 1-D magma ocean (MO) in interaction with its outgassed atmosphere. The heat transfer in the atmosphere is computed either using the grey approximation or using a k-correlated method. We vary the initial CO2 and H2O contents (respectively from 0.1 × 10−2 to 14 × 10−2 wt % and from 0.03 to 1.4 times the Earth Ocean current mass) and the solar distance—from 0.63 to 1.30 AU. A first rapid cooling stage, where efficient MO cooling and degassing take place, producing the atmosphere, is followed by a second quasi steady state where the heat flux balance is dominated by the solar flux. The end of the rapid cooling stage (ERCS) is reached when the mantle heat flux becomes negligible compared to the absorbed solar flux. The resulting surface conditions at ERCS, including water ocean’s formation, strongly depend both on the initial volatile content and solar distance D. For D > DC, the “critical distance,” the volatile content controls water condensation and a new scaling law is derived for the water condensation limit. Although today’s Venus is located beyond DC due to its high albedo, its high CO2/H2O ratio prevents any water ocean formation. Depending on the formation time of its cloud cover and resulting albedo, only 0.3 Earth ocean mass might be sufficient to form a water ocean on early Venus. Citation: Simulations suggests Venus may once have had an ocean (2017, August 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

You need to know when to unplug

first_imgHi, I live alone in Delhi. I work in a BPO and my long hours ensure that my house is in complete mess! I hate the look of it now. What to do?Pratap, New DelhiIf you don’t put regular work into organising and maintaining cleanliness in your home, you can expect disaster. First things first, pick a few hours a week to dedicate to cleaning up your home. Hire help if you need it and can afford it, or find a way to actually enjoy the cleaning time, like watching TV or listening to music. Some people are naturally blessed with the ability to organize and stay organized but if you are not one of them, ensure you are a good manager who will be able to manage the domestic helps to put things in order. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’My husband works in IT firm. He’s completely addicted to technology! He is obsessed these days. It’s affecting our lives badly. What should be done?Ruby, NoidaTechnology can have a large presence in our lives without causing problems, but we need to know when to unplug. We definitely want to unplug before bed, as keeping technology in the bedroom tends to make us use it and glowing screens in the dark will help us sleep better. It will also serve as an early morning distraction and potentially make us late to work. One of the major problems technology addiction has caused is a lack of awareness. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixI can’t sleep for more than 4 hours each day. I wake up and sometimes feel tired all day long! I’m 17 and feel bad about this!Niharika, PunjabSleep is really important. It may actually be more important than food. It may even help you lose weight. If you’re not sleeping well, there are so many things you can try to fix the problem. First of all, stop reading your backlit screens before going to bed! In fact, just keep technology out of the bedroom all together. You also should limit your caffeine and other stimulants. Eating heavier in the morning and less at night can aid in better sleep.. You have to experiment a little to find what works, but when you take care of yourself physically, in general, you’ll likely find that sleeping works just the way it should. I am working for last 6 years. I haven’t been able to save any money. I always am broke! How can I improve my life?Tejas, HaryanaIn reality, most of us feel broke all the time. Salaries, income never feel enough! But you surely can try earning through other sources. The web offers plenty of ways to make some extra cash. If more work isn’t quite what you were hoping for, just make the most of being poor (or poor-ish). Live smaller, do what it takes to be happy in the limits. If over-spending is a problem, you need to immediately STOP. Get rid of credit cards. Don’t worry, most of us are on the same boat brother! Have a love or life query you cannot find an answer to? Send your questions to – [email protected]last_img read more

India may reply to Pak raking up Kashmir issue at UN

first_imgAmid moves by Pakistan to rake up the Kashmir issue at the United Nations’ General Assembly (UNGA) session, India is likely to exercise its right to reply on the matter. Earlier, Pakistan had said that prime minister Nawaz Sharif would again highlight the Kashmir issue in his address to the UNGA while ruling out resumption of any dialogue with India unless New Delhi takes the initiative in this regard. Pakistan’s foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said here that there is ‘no reason’ for Sharif not to raise the subject of Kashmir during his address. The right to reply will be exercised by a senior official of India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations. Last year too, Sharif had raised the issue while addressing the UNGA saying that the UN must remain ‘attentive’ to the protracted issue as also the ‘full realisation’ of the right to self determination of the Kashmiri people.last_img read more