Ethereum Thefts Cost Investors Millions

Ethereum thefts, an Ashley Madison settlement, another leaky Amazon S3 bucket, and more of this week’s top security news.

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Antivirus for Android Has Terrible Track Record

A new study shows that 94 percent of Android antivirus failed to stop a comprehensive set of malware attacks.

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Letting Cyberattack Victims Hack Back Is a Very Unwise Idea

Opinion: Retaliating against hacks is the wrong way to prevent them.

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Musk Drops Propulsive Landing Plans for SpaceX Crew Dragon

SpaceX is dropping its original plans to propulsively ground land the advanced crewed version of their Dragon spacecraft planned for missions carrying astronauts returning from the International Space Station (ISS) – in a decision that potentially impacts future plans for Mars landings as well.
The post Musk Drops Propulsive Landing Plans for SpaceX Crew Dragon appeared first on Universe Today. …

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Sharkathon 2017 is here: How to watch it like a scientist

Just when you thought it was safe to turn on your television, the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week and National Geographic Wild’s SharkFest are hitting the air with competing daily programming. As director of the Florida Program for Shark Research and curator of the International Shark Attack File, my advice to viewers is to cast a jaundiced eye on each episode’s title and premise. Remember, TV show titles and preview teases…

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Earth-Sized Planet Takes Just Four Hours to Orbit its Star

The Kepler space observatory has made some interesting finds since it began its mission back in March of 2009. Even after the mission suffered the loss of two reaction wheels, it has continued to make discoveries as part of its K2 mission. All told, the Kepler and K2 missions have detected a total of 5,106 […]
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As Cyberattacks Destabilize the World, the State Department Turns a Blind Eye

“It’s manifestly ridiculous.”

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Watch a Homemade Robot Crack a SentrySafe Combination Safe in 15 Minutes

Not so safe after all.

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Struggling to ditch meat? Here are five ways to resist the temptation

Are you a conflicted carnivore – loving meat but also hating that you love it? Perhaps you are worried about the carcinogenic, heart-clogging properties of cooked meat or the industry’s use of antibiotics creating threatening superbugs. Maybe you’re ashamed of all the wasted water and food that goes into meat production and the deforestation and damaging emissions caused by animal agriculture. Many of us also simply struggle to accept the…

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The Georgia peach may be vanishing, but its mythology is alive and well

This is a tough year for the Georgia peach. In February, growers fretted about warm winter temperatures, which prevented some fruit from developing properly. They were more discouraged in March after a late freeze damaged many of the remaining fruit. By May they were predicting an 80 percent crop loss. Now in July they are lamenting one of the worst years in living memory. With relatively few Georgia peaches this…

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The pitfalls of planar spin-glass benchmarks: raising the bar for quantum annealers (again)

In an effort to overcome the limitations of random spin-glass benchmarks for quantum annealers, focus has shifted to carefully crafted gadget-based problems whose logical structure typically has a planar topology. Recent experiments on these gadget problems using a commercially available quantum annealer have demonstrated an impressive performance over a selection of commonly used classical optimisation heuristics. Here, we show that efficient classical optimisation techniques, such as minimum-weight-perfect matching, can solve these gadget problems exactly and in polynomial time. We present approaches on how to mitigate this shortcoming of commonly used benchmark problems based on planar logical topologies. …

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Theory of phase-mixing amplification in an optomechanical system

The investigation of the ultimate limits imposed by quantum mechanics on amplification represents an important topic both on a fundamental level and from the perspective of potential applications. We discuss here a novel regime for bosonic linear amplifiers—beside phase-insensitive and phase-sensitive amplification—which we term here phase-mixing amplification. Furthermore, we show that phase-mixing amplification can be realised in a cavity optomechanical setup, constituted by a mechanical resonator which is dispersively coupled to an optomechanical cavity asymmetrically driven around both mechanical sidebands. While, in general, this amplifier is phase-mixing, for a suitable choice of parameters, the amplifier proposed here operates as a phase-sensitive amplifier. We show that both configurations allow amplification with an added noise below the quantum limit of (phase-insensitive) amplification in a parameter range compatible with current experiments in microwave circuit optom… …

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How many atoms get excited when they decay?

We analyse the time evolution of a two-level system prepared in a superposition of its ground state and radiatively unstable excited state. We show that by choosing appropriate means of detection of the radiated field, we can steer the evolution of the emitter and herald its preparation in the fully excited state. We determine the probability for the occurrence of this ‘excitation during the decay’ of a remote emitter. …

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Advanced Civilizations Could Build a Galactic Internet with Planetary Transits

In a recently published paper, Dr. Duncan Forgan proposed that alien civilizations could create a “galactic internet” by using artificial transits to communicate.
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Alphabay and Hansa Takedowns Ensnare Thousands of Dark Web Users

Cops sent unsuspecting users scrambling from one dark web site’s takedown to another site—that they controlled.

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Kaisa Matomäki Dreams of Primes

Kaisa Matomäki has proved that properties of prime numbers over long intervals hold over short intervals as well. The techniques she uses have transformed the study of these elusive numbers. …

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Is austerity really to blame for stalling life expectancy in England?

Over the 20th century, life expectancy in the UK increased from 46 to 76 years. But since 2010, that rate of increase is close to having ground to a halt. At any point in living memory this finding would cause serious concern. But in the age of austerity and accusations of “social murder” it is politically explosive. But can budget cuts really explain the trend? And can we do anything…

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Lions and lambs: can you solve this classic game theory puzzle?

How many lions does it take to kill a lamb? The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Not, at least, according to game theory. Game theory is a branch of maths that studies and predicts decision-making. It often involves creating hypothetical scenarios, or “games”, whereby a number of individuals called “players” or “agents” can choose from a defined set of actions according to a series of rules. Each…

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