Robot can walk on water and jump from the surface!

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A robotic Jesus Christ Lizard, that can jump very high from water

 

​The machine seems to be impossibly floating across the surface of water when, all of a sudden, it whips its 4 skinny legs towards its center in a single clean motion and blasts upward. Leaping with the force of 14g’s, it’s airborne faster than you may blink, easily leaping as fast and as high as it could have on land. However that is no pond-skater, Jesus lizard, or some Gerridae. It’s a mini-robot.

The world’s first robot that jumps from the surface of water using surface tension has been developed by a team of Korean roboticists. The 1 cm tall robot can jump to a height of 14 cm.

Engineers and roboticists at the Seoul Nationwide College in South Korea, led by Je-Sung Koh, have designed the first robot to imitate jumping water bugs like water striders. The robot balances on water and leaps into the air utilizing little more than the force of water’s natural surface-tension. The team stated in the journal Science, that they first needed to work out the mystery of how bugs like the ‘water strider’ manage this feat before they could construct a machine to imitate it.

“Usually, jumping requires a large force to be applied to the surface that you’re leaping from,” Kim says. “[But when jumping] on water, legs will easily penetrate the water, and even in the event you can jump on water, the height will [usually] be lower than jumping on the ground. However, our small robot can leap from water without breaking the surface tension, and can jump on as high as jumping on land.”

Utilizing high-speed cameras, the roboticists recorded jumping water striders (Aquarius paludum) they caught in ponds and streams outside Seoul. After studying their videos in detail, the team broke down the mechanics of how the insects avoid breaking the surface tension during their powerful leap.

One key to their leap is that water striders steadily and gradually increase their jumping power. How do they do that? By wicking their curved legs inward, across the water, keeping much of their leg in touch with the tiny divots each leg creates. This permits water striders to transfer the power generated by the water’s surface tension (which is trying to make it stay flat) into their upward motion.

 

water strider -  Seoul Nationwide College
2 robots along with a water strider – Seoul Nationwide College

The new robot jumps by utilizing a simple, light clasp that snaps shut via a heat-reactant spring after being zapped by an outside pulse of heat. That clasp generates the force needed to maneuver the legs, causing the robot’s 4 curved legs, that are generously coated with a water-repellent chemical known as Ultra-Ever Dry, to tug inwards. The researchers got the robot’s legs to imitate a water strider’s by constructing them with a super-elastic nickel-titanium alloy.

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This new jumping robot isn’t the first to ever stroll across the surface of water (Robostrider claims that title). The work carried out on earlier robots, combined with the team’s study of water striders in nature, helped them design their running and leaping little machine. Mainly, just like an actual water strider, the bot can stand on water because its light weight is spread broadly across its four legs, causing a force that is far lower than force of water attempting to retain a taught surface.

 

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Major Flaw In Android Can Let Hackers In With Just An SMS

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Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the Universe: More than 80 percent of smartphones run on it. According to mobile security experts at Zimperium, there’s a gaping hole within the software program — one that might let hackers break into somebody’s cellphone and take over, just by sending a text. According to the BBC, this exploit could affect more than a billion phones world wide.

Just An SMS?

In this attack, the target would not need to open an attachment or download a file that is corrupt. The malicious code would take over immediately, the second you receive a text from the hacker or a compromised system.

“This happens even before the sound that you’ve received a message has even occurred,” says Joshua Drake, safety researcher with Zimperium and co-writer of Android Hacker’s Handbook. “That’s what makes it so dangerous. It might be absolutely silent. You may not even see anything.”

Here’s how the exploit would work: The ‘bad person’ creates a short video, hides the malware inside it and texts it to your number. As soon as the message is received by the cellphone, Drake says, “it does its initial processing, which triggers the vulnerability.”

The messaging app Hangouts immediately processes videos, to keep them ready in the smart phone’s gallery. That means the consumer does not have to waste time looking. But, according to Drake, this invites the malware right in.

If you are utilizing the telephone’s default messaging app, he explains, it is “a tiny bit less harmful.” You would have to view the textual contents before it processes the attachment. But, to be clear, “it doesn’t require in either case for the targeted person to need to play back the media at all,” Drake says.

Once the attackers get in, Drake says, they’d have the ability to do anything — copy or transmit the data, delete it, take over your microphone and camera to watch each and every word and move. “It’s really up to their imagination what they do as soon as they get in,” he says.

Solution

According to Zimperium, this set of vulnerabilities impacts nearly every Android cellphone in use. Drake says he found it in his lab, and he doesn’t believe that hackers are currently exploiting it — at least not yet.

In correspondence in April and May, he shared his findings with Google, which makes the Android operating system. He even sent along patches to fix the bugs.

“Basically, within forty eight hours I had an e-mail telling me that they’d accepted all the patches I sent which was nice,” he says. “You know, that is an excellent feeling.”

Adrian Ludwig, the lead engineer for Android safety at Google, stated that they’ve notified partners and already dispatched a fix to the smartphone makers that use Android.

Whether it gets to the people’s smart phones isn’t in Google’s hands.

According to security firm F-Secure, 99 percent of mobile malware threats in the first quarter of 2014 had been designed to run on Android devices.

Android phones are very completely different from iPhones, for instance. Apple runs a closed system: It controls the hardware and software, the iOS, and it is simple to ship out a major revamp. The firm says 85% of iPhone customers have the latest operating system.

Android Central, a famous blog, has described the challenge of updating the operating system as an “impossible problem.” Earlier this yr, an exploit discovered in the Android Web-browsing app was left largely un-patched too.

Updated 5:21 p.m. 27 July: Google Issues Statement + response from companies

Google has said:

“We thank Joshua Drake for his contributions. The security of Android users is extremely important to us and so we responded quickly and patches have already been provided to partners that can be applied to any device.

“Most Android devices, including all newer devices, have multiple technologies that are designed to make exploitation more difficult. Android devices also include an application sandbox designed to protect user data and other applications on the device.”

Smartphone Manufacturers

HTC:

“Google informed HTC of the issue and provided the necessary patches, which HTC began rolling into projects in early July. All projects going forward contain the required repair.”

Silent Circle:

“We patched ‘Blackphone’ weeks in the past!”

Other manufacturers have yet to respond. We will update the page as soon as we get a response from them.

 

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United Nation says encryption & anonymity vital to free speech

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Data encryption is crucial to free speech, because it gives the privacy and safety essential in at this time’s digital age, a brand new United Nations report states. It calls on the US Congress to prohibit Washington from requiring corporations to offer “backdoor entry.”

“Encryption and anonymity, separately or together, create a zone of privacy to protect opinion and belief,” says the report written by David Kaye, a special rapporteur within the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The report, which shall be introduced to the UN Human Rights Council in the coming month, comes as many governments try and put “back doors” in encryption programs to help law enforcement agencies.

Kaye speaks out in opposition to such back doors within the report, calling on the US Congress to “prohibit the Government from requiring companies to weaken product security or insert back-door access measures.”

“States ought to avoid all measures that weaken the security that individuals might enjoy on-line, such as backdoors, weak encryption standards and key escrows,” the report states, including that encryption is critical for artists, journalists, whistle blowers, and plenty of others.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Kaye stated back doors “lead to insecurity for everyone, even if intended to be for criminal law enforcement purposes.”

It comes as the United States continues to participate in an ongoing privacy debate, in an effort to balance privacy rights and national security.

 One aspect of the token is tech firms, many of which have rushed to encrypt their programs following Edward Snowden’s 2013 NSA revelations.

READ MORE: UK Police Admits to investigating journalists for covering Snowden files

However, Obama administration officials are pushing for encryption with a backdoor, or “master key,” which can be utilized by law enforcement and other agencies.

On Wednesday, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch echoed the administration’s wishes, stating that she has “grave concerns” about encryption being utilized by “individuals whose sworn duty is to hurt Americans here and abroad.”

Speaking at a cyber warfare convention on Wednesday, National Security Agency’s director Mike Rogers stated encryption is “not bad,” and that it’s a “fundamental part of the future.”

However, he continued by asking whether or not it was possible to create “some mechanism” which permits governments to “access info that directly pertains to the safety of our respective nations” whereas being “conscious” that citizens’ rights have to be protected.

The reply to Rogers’ question, according to Kaye, is a clear-cut “no.” Kaye says that compromised encryption will merely weaken everybody’s safety on-line.

He added that those with the abilities to exploit the weak factors of compromised encryption would be capable to simply achieve this – whether or not those individuals had been “State or non-State, legitimate, or criminal.”

The report, which has been welcomed by encryption advocates, additionally warns against state prohibitions of anonymity on-line – together with real-identify registration, SIM card registration, or banning of anonymity instruments such as Tor (or the upcoming HORNET), adding that such requirements intrude with the freedom and liberty of expression.

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Best ‘new’ Tech website?

I am a fan of sci/tech. Regularly visit sites like Wired.com, BBC Tech, Yahoo Technology, Endgadget etc, but I was looking for great new sites with a fresh face and didn’t find many that I liked. The one that did stand out was GadgTecs, its a great source for latest science and technology news, it has a different interface (black, compared to the predominantly “white” on the internet) and I like their pick of stories.

For e.g. the most recent article I read there was about “C.H.I.P”, its the cheapest computer in the world, costs only $9 (link: http://gadgtecs.com/index.php/2015/07/04/worlds-cheapest-computer-9/) Imagine the difference it can make to the world, especially the poor countries, the developing world and even students who want to learn programming!

CHIP vs Banana CHIP compared in size to a banana

Anyways, thats it for now, have to go back and try to sleep as its sooo hot here nowadays, even people are melting! adios