MIT Scientists Develop Innovative ID Tags with Self-Destructing Barcodes for Enhanced Security

The conventional use of ID verification tags has faced a significant loophole: peeling them off and affixing them to counterfeit products renders them ineffective. In response, MIT scientists have devised a revolutionary ID tag system that leverages the adhesive itself as a unique fingerprint, ensuring that the barcode becomes scrambled if an attempt is made to peel it off.

The underlying principle of these ID tags aligns with radio frequency identification tags (RFIDs), commonly employed for inventory tracking and authenticity verification. Each tag possesses a distinct identifying code, detectable through a scanner to validate the authenticity of the item. However, the prior flaw lay in merely verifying the tag’s authenticity rather than the item to which it was attached. The MIT team’s solution involved developing a tag that obliterates its barcode upon removal.

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Robotic Security Guards: A Promising Solution to Enhance Safety and Surveillance

The role of security guards is vital and often necessary, but their deployment can be limited by cost and availability. In Switzerland, residents have had the opportunity to witness the potential of a patrol bot developed by robotics start-up Ascento, affiliated with ETH Zurich. This innovative machine has shown promise as a replacement for human security guards, already serving as a guard for Swiss security firm Securitas AG.

A video released by ETH Zurich showcases the remarkable agility of this new security guard, enabling it to patrol various locations seamlessly. The robot’s capability to monitor diverse terrains with precision raises the question: Can it match the attention and responsiveness of a human guard? The incident involving a RoboCop in 2019 sparked skepticism when it failed to assist a woman in need despite her activating the emergency button. The incident highlighted the need for better integration and protocols for such robotic systems.

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Amazon Unveils a flying security drone


A security drone is on the way from Amazon and it has more than few people asking questions about privacy. At the same time, tech enthusiasts seem to be pretty excited about this newest addition to the home surveillance marketplace.

Amazon’s smart home security division Ring has unveiled a new home security drone that will launch into the air and begin recording if it detects a suspected break-in. Dubbed the Always Home Cam, users will be able to access instantaneous streaming video once the drone launches.

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Top 10 digital transformation trends for 2021


No one could have predicted where 2020 would take us: The last six months alone have produced more digital transformation than the last decade, with every transformation effort already underway finding itself accelerated, and at scale. While many of my digital transformation predictions from a year ago benefited from this shift, others were displaced by more urgent needs, like 24/7 secure and reliable connectivity. What does this mean for 2021? Will core technologies like AI and data analytics still dominate headlines, or will we see newer, previously emerging technologies take the lead? Only time will tell, but here are my top ten digital transformation predictions for 2021.

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Face masks give facial recognition software an identity crisis


As tech firms scramble to keep up with reality of coronavirus, some experts say users must change

It is an increasingly common modern annoyance: arriving at the front of the queue to pay in a shop, pulling out a smartphone for a hygienic contact-free payment, and staring down at an error message because your phone fails to recognise your masked face.

As more and more nations mandate masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus, technology companies are scrambling to keep up with the changing world. But some experts are warning that the change may have to start with users themselves.

Apple’s Face ID is the most well-known example of a consumer facial verification system. The technology, which uses a grid of infrared dots to measure the physical shape of a user’s face, secures access to the company’s iPhones and iPads, as well as other features such as Apple Pay.

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NSA says Russian hackers are trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine research

A researcher holds a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine during a news

Russian hackers are trying to steal research on COVID-19 vaccines, according to intelligence services in the US, UK and Canada, The National Security Agency (NSA) said a group that has been linked to Russian intelligence has targeted health care organizations in the three countries.

 The group — which is known as APT29, Cozy Bear or The Dukes — is using malware and spear-phishing attacks, according to a joint advisory from the NSA, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the UK’s National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) and Canada’s Communications Security Establishment. The latter two also published guidance to help health care organizations beef up their systems’ defenses.

“It is completely unacceptable that the Russian Intelligence Services are targeting those working to combat the coronavirus pandemic,” Dominic Raab, the UK’s foreign secretary, said in a statement. “While others pursue their selfish interests with reckless behavior, the UK and its allies are getting on with the hard work of finding a vaccine and protecting global health.”

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The best applications for Quantum Computing


One of the areas that I have been researching is what applications can best make use of the power of quantum computing. Although this is a work in progress, I am providing a preliminary assessment for my readers based upon discussions with various experts and other research I have done so far. The list below is shown in a priority order based upon the combination of three factors that I have reviewed: Progress-to-Date, Difficulty, and Payoff. One thing to note is that the successful implementations for most, if not all, of these application areas will probably be based upon a hybrid platform that combines classical and quantum computing in a cloud environment to achieve the best of both worlds. So here’s the list.

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EU introduces AI strategy to build ‘ecosystem of trust’


Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission

The European Commission today unveiled a sweeping set of proposals that it hopes will establish the region as a leader in artificial intelligence by focusing on trust and transparency.

The proposals would lead to changes in the way data is collected and shared in an effort to level the playing field between European companies and competitors from the U.S. and China. The EC wants to prevent potential abuses while also building confidence among citizens in order to reap the benefits promised by the technology.

In a series of announcements, EC leaders expressed optimism that AI could help tackle challenges such as climate change, mobility, and health care, along with a determination to keep private tech companies from influencing regulation and dominating the data needed to develop these algorithms.

“We want citizens to trust the new technology,” said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission. “Technology is always neutral. It depends on what we make with it. And therefore we want the application of these new technologies to deserve the trust of our citizens. This is why we are promoting a responsible human-centric approach to artificial intelligence.”

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Step-by-step guide to tokenizing real-world assets


 Recent estimates place the current value of all real-world assets at around $256 trillion globally. While that jaw-dropping number is fairly stable, all of these assets keep changing owners on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, the processes used to trade these assets are completely outdated.

Ownership over a vast majority of real-world assets is still signified by pieces of paper. That’s why most transactions can take weeks or even months to complete. Asset trades are also plagued by extensive amounts of red tape, countless fees and various geographical restrictions. Furthermore, most assets are very difficult to subdivide, which makes their respective markets highly illiquid. Real estate, gold reserves and fine art are all great examples here.

Fortunately, with the recent development of tokenization, the way of owning and trading real-world assets might be on the brink of a true revolution.

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Vast majority of UK adults ‘uncomfortable’ with delivery drivers entering their empty homes


Waitrose’s While You’re Away service allows delivery drivers to enter customer’s homes to unpack their shopping

The vast majority of UK adults are uncomfortable with the idea of delivery drivers entering their homes to drop off shopping while they’re out, new research has revealed.

Waitrose first trialled its While You’re Away delivery service in October 2018, which saw its shopping delivery drivers enter customers’ houses and put away their shopping in fridges and cupboards, thanks to a temporary access code linked to a home’s Yale smart lock.

The supermarket has insisted there is something “very beautiful” about its customers forgetting they even made an order and then coming home to see their goods already in cupboards.

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Chinese scientists develop portable quantum satellite communication device


Weighing in at just 80kg, the machine can connect to China’s quantum satellite and receive encryption keys in the form of entangled light particles

Breakthrough was made by team at University of Science and Technology of China

Chinese scientists have developed a quantum satellite ground station that is not only capable of sending ultra-secure messages anywhere in the world but also fits inside a family car.

The mobile device, developed by the University of Science and Technology of China, weighs about 80kg (176lbs). With the addition of a 28cm (11 inch) telescope, it can connect to the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ quantum satellite known as Mozi, and receive ­encryption keys in the form of ­entangled light particles.

Unlike traditional encryption methods based on mathematics, quantum encryption is protected by the fundamental law of physics. In theory, all information scrambled by encryption algorithms can be cracked by a computer if it is fast enough, but quantum key communication will remain intact because any attempt to eavesdrop will cause a physical change in the message and trigger a security alert to the sender or receiver.

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A sobering 62% of U.S. financial-services entities have been breached, Thales says


Despite 96% of U.S. financial-services organizations considering their technology security as adequate, 62% of those responding to a Thales survey said they experienced a breach. That’s according to the recently released 2019 Thales Data Threat Report.

Commissioned by Thales, the survey of 1,200 information technology and data security professionals and the ensuing report was conducted by research firm International Data Corp. Many U.S. financial services organization have strict data-security and similar requirements to contend with, but their breach rate outpaces other industries. Retail, at 42%, was the next highest among those ever experiencing a breach.

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