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Sunrise Project Focused On Boosting Speed Of Underwater Communication.

Wired (11/3, Niiler) reports on the Sunrise project, an effort to develop wireless high-speed communication under the sea. The project has involved “more than 40 marine researchers and computer scientists from eight European nations.” They have had several field tests of “networks of underwater modems” and one is planned for this month involving “three autonomous underwater vehicles” which will link to an underwater modem. The system uses a combination of “underwater acoustic modems” and modems that use “visible or infrared light beams.” The project is also attempting to increase the amount of information that can be carried on acoustic modems.

Article posted: 11/07/2016

Stephen Hawking Warns About AI Technology.

U.S. News & World Report (10/21) reports Stephen Hawking announced on Wednesday the creation of an artificial intelligence center at Cambridge University “with an eye toward ensuring that AI in the future is a benefit to humanity – not a candidate to harm or even end life as we know it.” During the announcement, Hawking said, “Alongside the benefits, AI will also bring dangers, like powerful autonomous weapons, or new ways for the few to oppress the many.” The article notes that DNI Clapper in Feb. presented his unclassified worldwide threat assessment to Congress, in which he said, “The increased reliance on AI for autonomous decision-making is creating new vulnerabilities to cyber-attacks and influence operations.”

Article posted: 10/24/2016

Manufacturing Sector Struggles To Find Software Engineers, Developers.

The Wall Street Journal (10/17, Tangel, Subscription Publication) reports the manufacturing industry is struggling to find software engineers and developers, as many of the potential recruits flock to Silicon Valley tech firms. The Journal says the struggle puts further strain on the industry’s skills gap, adding that while some companies are able to get a foothold in recruiting pools, many find difficulty in filling roles.

Article posted: 10/18/2016

Hackers Targeting Internet Of Things Devices For Cyberattacks.

MIT Technology Review  (9/30, Condliffe) reported hackers are targeting Internet-connected devices to create botnets that collectively send “data and Web page requests to servers with such ferocity that they’re overwhelmed and ultimately crash” through sophisticated DDoS attacks. MIT Technology Review says the amount of Internet-connected devices has “increased dramatically,” giving hackers a larger number of devices to bundle in botnet attacks.

The Boston Globe  (10/2, Bray) reports a study by the research firm Gartner Inc. “estimates there are about 6.4 billion IoT devices in the world.” Some IT security analysts “say that many of these devices are just as hackable as our home computers, but much harder to protect from attack.” Roland Dobbins, principal engineer at computer security company Arbor Networks Inc., “called for IoT companies to band together and set industrywide policies, to make their products harder to hack.”

Article posted: 10/03/2016

Researchers Engineer Blood Vessels That Can Grow After Being Implanted In Animals.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune (9/28, Carlson) reports “a scientific first” published in Nature Communications and accomplished by researchers at the University of Minnesota, who succeeded in implanting “a section of dead blood vessel” in sheep, which subsequently “turned into living tissue that grew along with the host’s body for a year.” The researchers said the success indicates that “tiny sections of lab-grown blood vessels” could be used to replace “defective arteries in children,” which, because they would grow, could remove the need for “risky and expensive surgeries” later in life for children with congenital heart defects. Over 1,000 children in the US each year “could benefit.” The Star-Tribune points out that as a medical device, the material would have to meet “good manufacturing process” standards, and a human clinical trial would have to be approved by “bioethics experts at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”

Article posted: 09/28/2016