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Using Machine Learning to Find the Next Cyber-Threat

There is a dark corner of the Internet where hackers sell their software. The process unfolds in three steps.

Published: 10 Aug 2016

Genetic Causes of Depression Found Using Big Data

What causes depression? Of course, life circumstances such as traumatic events, severe stress or grief play a role, but heredity studies have shown that a genetic predisposition to depression is equally important as environmental triggers [1]. Until very recently, though, the genes that underpin such a predisposition have proven elusive.

Published: 10 Aug 2016

The New Spam: Machine learning can be used to write human-like tweets

Phishing messages typically get 5-10% response rates, but a new system has boosted its rate to 40%. John Seymour and Phil Tully, two data scientists from the security company ZeroFOX, presented their system SNAP_R at Black Hat, a Las Vegas conference on cyber-security, on August 4. SNAP_R uses a deep neural net to study a person's past tweets and then mimics that person's writing style using a Markov model, generating a phishing tweet. So far, there is no reason to think that criminals are using a similar system, but Seymour and Tully's work show how it might be done.

Published: 5 Aug 2016

Detecting hate speech on the Internet

Online bullying and trolls are the darker side of social media. Twitter's Chief Executive Officer stated in a February 2015 memo that he wanted to make it a corporate priority to detect abuse and hate speech on Twitter.

Published: 2 Aug 2016

Student Felix Lamy wins 'opportunity of a lifetime'

The Gatineau native and McGill University student was named the first Canadian winner of the Infiniti Engineering Academy competition on Thursday. That earns him a yearlong paid internship in Europe, with his time split evenly between the Infiniti Research Centre in Enstone, England, and the Renault Formula One racing team, which has its headquarters in Cranfield, England.

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Published: 30 Jul 2016

App enhances the world for blind, visually impaired

Autour combines GPS, Google Maps, public transit and other data with ambient sound to provide descriptions of businesses, landmarks and services near the user.

CTV 

La Presse +

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Published: 30 Jul 2016

PokemonGo discriminates based on bias in algorithm

"These games are built by humans and therefore they contain all the biases of humans." -- Geography professor Rene Sieber. CBC The Current

 

Published: 28 Jul 2016

Writing data on atoms: researchers have found a way to write and retrieve data at the atomic level

A team of researchers in the Netherlands has developed the means to store data at the atomic level. This technique would allow 502 terabytes of data to fit into one square inch. According to the authors, "[t]ranslating the two-dimensional storage density presented here to three dimensions, would ... allow the storage of the entire US Library of Congress in a cube 100 µm wide." At the moment, the memory array can operate up to a temperature of 77 K (about -210 C), meaning that the technology would be restricted to data centres capable of maintaining such temperatures.

Published: 26 Jul 2016

From ore mining to data mining: the economy of Western Labrador diversifies for the 21st Century

An item in today's CBC News reports on towns in Labrador West that are repositioning their economies for the 21st Century. These local economies once relied on mining minerals but are now housing data centres. The cheaper power and cooler air of the area make them ideal for data warehousing, since such centres use a lot of electricity and cause machines to heat up. Great North Data, a company based out of St.

Published: 26 Jul 2016

Helping our school-age children sleep better

"Reut Gruber, a psychologist who is an associate professor in the department of psychiatry at McGill University, where she is director of the Attention Behavior and Sleep Lab, said that there is a close association between sleep and a wide range of cognitive functions, including attention, executive function and memory....

Published: 25 Jul 2016

Trump’s convention speech most negative in 40 years

Donald Trump’s speech Thursday night at the Republican National Convention was notable for its tone… That is the conclusion of a new analysis by McGill University [Political Science] PhD student Denver McNeney.  Washington Post 

Published: 23 Jul 2016

The marvel of electricity

Review of new book “The Grid” by cultural anthropologist Gretchen Bakke. Wall Street Journal

Published: 18 Jul 2016

Broken heart? There might be a pill for that

Back in 2012, a team led by Alain Brunet, a psychiatric professor at McGill University and researcher at the Douglas, set the trauma world on fire with a new treatment for PTSD, using a beta-blocker that reduces heart rate and blood pressure. Brunet’s work at the Douglas appeared to demonstrate traumatic memories could be healed and, furthermore, memories linked to addiction cravings could be reduced....

Published: 18 Jul 2016

Grinding Chemicals Together in an Effort to be Greener

...In 2011, the mechanochemist Tomislav Friscic and his team used mechanochemical methods to make bismuth subsalicylate, the active ingredient of Pepto-Bismol, by grinding together bismuth oxide and salicylic acid. The method not only does away with solvents, but also uses bismuth oxide, a safe reagent, in lieu of toxic bismuth salts.

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Published: 18 Jul 2016

Equality need not be painful

Pain researchers' arguments for using only male rodents in preclinical pain research don't hold up to scrutiny, says McGill neuroscientist Jeffrey Mogil. Nature

Published: 13 Jul 2016

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