this week

Uber being investigated in wake of "outrageous" data hack cover-up

Uber admitted this week that it concealed a massive data breach affecting 57 million drivers and passengers. The company is now facing government scrutiny around the world having paid hackers $100,000 to destroy information they stole and keep information about a breach in October 2016 quiet.

Source: The Guardian

Within a decade every other summer will shatter heat records

A study thas concluded that by the 2030s, every second summer over almost all of the entire Northern hemisphere will be hotter than any record-setting hot summer of the past 40 years, and by 2050, virtually every summer will be hotter than anything we've experienced to date.

Source: Motherboard

EU commissioner says the world is "astonishingly pessimistic" about AI

EU Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas believes the hyperbole around AI and alarmist views in the media risk confusing science with science fiction. “If you do any research on artificial intelligence these days, the results are astonishingly pessimistic. Nine articles out of ten on AI are negative,” said Moedas.

Robot developed to help keep hearts pumping

Researchers have developed a robot that helps to keep a heart pumping. It works by cradling the organ and uses a probe to anchor to the wall that separates the heart’s lower chambers. The robot could lead to devices that let doctors assist a heart in its normal function rather than relying on transplants.

Source: Wired

Scientists use CRISPR to create world's smallest tape recorder

Scientists have created a "biological tape recorder" based on CRISPR DNA editing. To build their microscopic recorder, the scientists began by modifying a piece of DNA called a plasmid, and giving it the ability to create more copies of itself in the bacterial cell in response to an external signal.

Source: Phys.org

AI can spot a forged painting from just one brush stroke

Researchers have invented an AI system that is able to detect an artist's work by analysing a single brush stroke. The AI is able to learn what brush strokes and features correlated to a specific artist, and broke down line drawings from famous artists like Picasso and Matisse into 80,000 brush strokes.

Source: Alphr

Footage of fatal crash involving self-driving Uber released

The Tempe Police Department has released the first footage of this week’s fatal crash involving a self-driving Uber. Police had previously said that the Uber, which had a safety driver inside, did not slow down before it struck the victim, something the footage appears to confirm.

Source: The Verge

Police ask Google to help in the pursuit of two gunmen

Google may have helped solve two separate crimes committed roughly one-a-half years apart. According to reports, Raleigh police presented Google with warrants for data from all the mobile devices that were within a certain distance of the respective crime scenes at the time the crimes were committed.

Source: Tech Crunch

Teenager hacks "tamper-proof" cryptocurrency wallet

A hardware wallet designed to store cryptocurrencies, and touted by its manufacturer as tamper-proof, has been hacked by a British 15-year-old. Saleem Rashid said he had written code that gave him a back door into the Ledger Nano S, which would allow a malicious attacker to drain the wallet of funds.

Source: BBC

Tooth-mounted sensor tracks what your're eating

Scientists at Tufts University have developed a wireless sensor that can be attached onto a person’s tooth to track what they are eating and drinking. In their study, the researchers describe how the sensor is able to transmit information about a person’s glucose, salt and alcohol intake.

Source: Alphr

Scientists develop AI software that can reproduce like a living thing

Computer scientists have created a neural network that continually self improves by mimicking the biological self-replication process. “Self-replication is a key aspect of biological life that has been largely overlooked in Artificial Intelligence systems,” the scientists are quoted as saying.

Source: The Register

Boring Company unveils proposed ‘Loop’ route

Elon Musk’s Boring Company has unveiled the first leg of its hyperloop project, which is a ‘Loop’ transit system to travel between Washington D.C. and Baltimore in 15 minutes. The Boring Company’s main project is its network of tunnels under Los Angeles, where it already started digging last year.

Source: Electrek

XPRIZE launches contest to build remote-controlled robot avatars

Prize fund XPRIZE and All Nippon Airways are offering $10 million reward to research teas who develop tech that eliminates the need to physically travel. The initial idea is that instead of plane travel, people could use goggles, ear phones and haptic tech to control a humanoid robot and experience different locations.

Source: Tech Crunch

NASA reveals plans for huge spacecraft to blow up asteroids

NASA has revealed plans for a huge nuclear spacecraft capable of shunting or blowing up an asteroid if it was on course to wipe out life on Earth. The agency published details of its Hammer deterrent, which is an eight tonne spaceship capable of deflecting a giant space rock.

Source: The Telegraph

Sierra Leone hosts the world’s first blockchain-powered elections

Sierra Leone recorded votes in its recent election to a blockchain. The tech, anonymously stored votes in an immutable ledger, thereby offering instant access to the election results. “This is the first time a government election is using blockchain technology,” said Leonardo Gammar of Agora, the company behind the technology.

Source: Quartz

AI-powered robot shoots perfect free throws

Japanese news agency Asahi Shimbun has reported on a AI-powered robot that shoots perfect free throws in a game of basketball. The robot was training by repeating shots, up to 12 feet from the hoop, 200,000 times, and its developers said it can hit these close shots with almost perfect accuracy.

Source: Motherboard

Russia accused of engineering cyberattacks by the US

Russia has been accused of engineering a series of cyberattacks that targeted critical infrastructure in America and Europe, which could have sabotaged or shut down power plants. US officials and private security firms claim the attacks are a signal by Russia that it could disrupt the West’s critical facilities.

Google founder Larry Page unveils self-flying air taxi

A firm funded by Google founder Larry Page has unveiled an electric, self-flying air taxi that can travel at up to 180 km/h (110mph). The taxi takes off and lands vertically, and can do 100 km on a single charge. It will eventually be available to customers as a service "similar to an airline or a rideshare".

Source: BBC