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Friday, January 30, 2015

ScienceDaily: Information Technology News

ScienceDaily: Information Technology News

Building trustworthy big data algorithms

Posted: 29 Jan 2015 02:04 PM PST

Much of our reams of data sit in large databases of unstructured text. Finding insights among emails, text documents, and websites is extremely difficult unless we can search, characterize, and classify their text data in a meaningful way. A new algorithm shows better accuracy and reproducibility than the leading algorithm for mining unstructured text.

Complex environments push 'brain' evolution

Posted: 29 Jan 2015 01:08 PM PST

Little animations trying to master a computer game are teaching neuroscience researchers how the brain evolves when faced with difficult tasks. Neuroscientists have programmed animated critters that they call 'animats.' The critters have a rudimentary neural system made of eight nodes: two sensors, two motors, and four internal computers that coordinate sensation, movement and memory.

Privacy challenges: Just four vague pieces of info can identify you, and your credit card

Posted: 29 Jan 2015 01:08 PM PST

Just four fairly vague pieces of information -- the dates and locations of four purchases -- are enough to identify 90 percent of the people in a data set recording three months of credit-card transactions by 1.1 million users. If someone had copies of just three of your recent receipts -- or one receipt, one Instagram photo of you having coffee with friends, and one tweet about the phone you just bought -- would have a 94 percent chance of extracting your credit card records from those of a million other people. This is true, the researchers say, even in cases where no one in the data set is identified by name, address, credit card number, or anything else that we typically think of as personal information.

Powerful tool promises to change the way scientists view proteins

Posted: 29 Jan 2015 12:16 PM PST

Life scientists now have access to a publicly available web resource that streamlines and simplifies the process of gleaning insight from 3-D protein structures. Aquaria, as it's known, is fast, easy-to-use and contains twice as many models as all other similar resources combined.

Individuals may fail to navigate complex tradeoffs in privacy decision-making

Posted: 29 Jan 2015 11:30 AM PST

Researchers have detailed the privacy hurdles people face while navigating in the information age, and what should be done about privacy at a policy level, in a new review.

Texting may be more suitable than apps in treatment of mental illness

Posted: 29 Jan 2015 11:11 AM PST

Texting may be a more suitable treatment aid for those with mental illness than mobile applications.This is the key finding of a new study led by researchers from Clemson University in collaboration with researchers from Indiana University and the Centerstone Research Institute. The study was published in the journal Personal and Ubiquitous Computing.

Forecasting the flu better

Posted: 29 Jan 2015 07:40 AM PST

Researchers say they can predict the spread of flu a week into the future with as much accuracy as Google Flu Trends can display levels of infection right now. The study uses social network analysis and combines the power of Google Flu Trends' "big data" with traditional flu monitoring data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

School failure linked to higher use of computers at home, Spanish study shows

Posted: 29 Jan 2015 06:42 AM PST

Researchers have analyzed the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) by secondary school students, by using a sample of 5,538 students. The study, based on surveys taken in the 2010/2011 academic year, finds links between school failure and an elevated use of computers at home.

New algorithm will allow better heart surgery, experts say

Posted: 08 Jan 2015 11:14 AM PST

A new technique to help surgeons find the exact location of heart defects could save lives, help them to treat patients more effectively and save health service cash, scientists report. Their development will allow non-invasive detection of the origin of heart problems and allow more effective treatment, they say.

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