Dust-sized wireless communications nodes, pinhead-size cameras, and other sensors; contact-lens video displays and wearable computers controlled by subvocal speech and other muscle movements; and the ability to google anything, anywhere--we will soon be able to know almost everything about everyone. Explosive advances in the technologies of sensing and data mining demand that we ask: is privacy a fundamental right or a passing phenomenon?
Privacy is mentioned in neither the U.S. Constitution nor John Stuart Mills seminal work, "On Liberty." Nor does it seem to have been a basic aspect of any civilization before the late Victorian era. Perhaps its nothing more than a single centurys luxury, supported by an odd combination of technologies: the urban apartment building and subways, the suburban home and private automobiles.
In a special four-part report in IEEE Spectrum, "Sensor Nation," we look at privacy under siege. Part one, "Sensors and Sensibility," reviews the latest developments in sensing and data mining, and at a rear-guard of technologists who are fighting back, developing technologies of privacy. A second article, "We Like to Watch," tackles head-on the difficult question of what a society without privacy would be like. Is there a healthy alternative, a so-called transparent society, in which the loss of privacy is symmetrical and universal, matched by a powerful new ability to watch the watchers?
Open source software helps researchers extract key insights from huge sensor datasets
22.03.2019 | Universität des Saarlandes
Touchscreens go 3D with buttons that pulsate and vibrate under your fingertips
14.03.2019 | Universität des Saarlandes
DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.
The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...
Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.
The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...
Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.
Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...
The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.
A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...
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22.03.2019 | Life Sciences
22.03.2019 | Life Sciences
22.03.2019 | Information Technology