• Nuclear wasteAmid Texas nuclear waste site's financial woes, judge blocks merger

    By Jim Malewitz

    A federal judge has blocked the purchase of the company that runs Texas’ only nuclear waste dump — a setback in its proposal to accept spent nuclear fuel from across the country. Wednesday’s ruling is the latest setback for a project that the company initially suggested it would start constructing by 2019.

  • SurveillanceAustralia: Five-Eyes nations should require backdoors in electronic devices

    Australia attorney-general George Brandis said he was planning to introduce a proposal to Australia’s four intelligence-sharing partners in the Five Eyes group — the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Canada – to require technology companies to create some kind of a backdoor to their devices. Australian leaders have emerged as strong proponents of allowing law-enforcement and intelligence agencies to gain access to the information and communication records on devices used by terrorists and criminals.

  • High-techMossad launching investment firm to benefit from Israel’s high-tech prowess

    Israel’s foreign intelligence agency is creating its own investment firm in order to cash in on the success of Israel’s new startups. Mossad will invest its own money in this project, forgoing additional investment from foreign capital and domestic venture capital firms. Unlike a traditional investment firm, Mossad doesn’t plan to control any shares of the constituent startups in exchange for funding. Instead, in a new model, Mossad will obtain rights to the technology produced by these startups.

  • ImmigrationEconomic benefits of admitting, settling refugees outweigh costs

    Although working-age adult refugees who enter the United States often initially rely on public assistance programs, a new study indicates that the long-term economic benefit of admitting refugees outweighs the initial costs. The researchers analyzed the costs and benefits of resettling an average refugee who entered the United States between 1990 and 2014, and found that within eight years of their arrival, adult refugees begin paying more in taxes than they receive in benefits.

  • Big dataIsraeli data startups driving N.Y. ecosystem

    By Viva Sarah Press

    The ability to interpret big data and find the needle in the haystack of information to help in decision-making is crucial. Israel startups thrive at finding needle-in-the-haystack information in order to make sense of the data and help in decision-making. “Data is a natural resource. Data by itself is like bricks. It’s all about what you do with it,” says Amir Orad, CEO of Sisense.

  • STEM educationNorthrop Grumman Foundation fosters a “passion for engineering”

    The Northrop Grumman Foundation and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) are partnering, for the second year in a row, to host twenty-five middle school teachers (fellows) from locations near Northrop Grumman sites for a year-long blended learning experience, culminating in a two-week externship during the summer at a site near them.

  • CybersecurityPreventing 3D printing hacks

    Additive manufacturing (AM), also called 3D printing, is growing fast. Worldwide, the AM market grew nearly 26 percent to more than $5 billion last year, versus 2015, and another 17.4 percent this year versus last. The rapid prototyping market alone is expected to reach $5 billion by 2020. But since the global supply chain for AM requires companies to share computer aided design (CAD) files within the organization or with outside parties via email or cloud, intellectual-property thieves and malefactors have many opportunities to filch a manufacturer’s design files to produce counterfeit parts.

  • HurricanesAfter 18 months, hurricane vulnerability documents arrive — but they're thin

    By Neena Satija

    During Hurricane Katrina, rushing water caused one refinery’s oil tank to rupture, sending oil into more than 1,700 homes a mile away. And the Houston area has many schools and neighborhoods that are less than a mile from large refineries and oil storage terminals. Eighteen months ago, we asked the government for documents that should have shed a lot of light on Houston’s vulnerability to a massive hurricane. After finally receiving them, it turns out the documents are basically useless.

  • CybercrimeCybercrime to cost global business more than $8 trillion in the next five years

    A new report by Juniper Research has found that criminal data breaches will cost businesses a total of $8 trillion over the next five years, due to higher levels of internet connectivity and inadequate enterprise wide security. The new research forecasts that the number of personal data records stolen by cybercriminals will reach 2.8 billion in 2017, almost doubling to five billion in 2020, despite new and innovative cybersecurity solutions emerging.

  • CybersecurityJudy malware may be the largest malware campaign found on Google Play: Check Point

    Check Point researchers last week discovered a widespread malware campaign on Google Play, Google’s official app store. Check Point says that the malware, dubbed “Judy,” is an auto-clicking adware which was found on forty-one apps developed by a Korean company. The malicious apps reached an astonishing spread between 4.5 million and 18.5 million downloads.

  • Identity theftUsing Bitcoin to prevent identity theft

    By Larry Hardesty

    A reaction to the 2008 financial crisis, Bitcoin is a digital-currency scheme designed to wrest control of the monetary system from central banks. With Bitcoin, anyone can mint money, provided he or she can complete a complex computation quickly enough. Through a set of clever protocols, that computational hurdle prevents the system from being coopted by malicious hackers. Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory presented a new system that uses Bitcoin’s security machinery to defend against online identity theft. The system piggybacks on the digital currency’s security protocols to thwart hijacked servers.

  • Immigration & business“Migrant work ethic” exists, at least in the short term

    The received wisdom that migrant workers have a stronger “work ethic” than U.K.-born workers is proven for the first time. New research shows that migrant workers are over three times less likely to be absent from work than native U.K. workers, a measure which economists equate with work ethic.

  • Emerging threatsStrong carbon price needed to drive large-scale climate action: Economists

    Meeting the world’s agreed climate goals in the most cost-effective way while fostering growth requires countries to set a strong carbon price, with the goal of reaching $40-$80 per ton of CO2 by 2020 and $50-100 per ton by 2030. This is the key conclusion of the High-Level Commission on Carbon Prices, led by Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and Lord Nicholas Stern. The study concludes that a well-designed carbon price is an indispensable part of a strategy for efficiently reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also fostering growth.

  • SurveillanceTech firms urge Congress to enact surveillance reforms

    More than thirty leading internet companies have sent a letter to the chair of the House Judiciary Committee asking for reforms to the law used for carrying out mass surveillance. The letter concerns Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The act must be renewed by Congress before the end of the year. Over the years, the U.S. security agencies have creatively interpreted the law to allow them to store information on potentially millions of U.S. citizens – even though the law specifically requires the opposite.

  • Emerging threatsClimate change likely to increase risk of costly storms in U.K.

    The impact of climate change on the United Kingdom is likely to mean a higher number of more expensive wind storms, the insurance industry warned. New analysis done for the Association of British Insurers (ABI) shows temperature increases of just a small number of degrees are likely to lead to insurance losses for high winds which could be 11 percent, 23 percent, or even 25 percent higher nationwide.