• Economic benefit of NIST’s encryption standard at least $250 billion

    NIST has released a study that estimates a $250 billion economic impact from the development of its Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) over the past twenty years. AES is a cryptographic algorithm used to encrypt and decrypt electronic information. It was approved for use by the federal government in November 2001 and has since been widely adopted by private industry. Today, AES protects everything from classified data and bank transactions to online shopping and social media apps.

  • U.S. prepared to strike in cyberspace

    The United States is prepared to go on the offensive in cyberspace to ensure adversaries know there is a price to pay for hacks, network intrusions and other types of attacks. President Donald Trump signed a new National Cyber Strategy on Thursday, calling for a more aggressive response to the growing online threat posed by other countries, terrorist groups and criminal organizations.

  • A bridge over the Strait of Gibraltar? New bridge forms span farther

    A bridge’s span is the distance of suspended roadway between towers, with the current world record standing at just under 2km. Newly identified bridge forms could enable significantly longer bridge spans to be achieved in the future, potentially making a crossing over the Strait of Gibraltar, from the Iberian Peninsula to Morocco, feasible.

  • New SAFETY Act best practices guide to commercial building security

    A new web-based tool can help security professionals for commercial office buildings perform assessments based on the Best Practices for Anti-Terrorism Security (BPATS) for commercial office buildings.

  • Climate change: we need to start moving people away from some coastal areas, warns scientist

    Climate change has forced a paradigm shift in the way coastal flooding and erosion risks are managed. In areas of lower risk, adaptation plans are being devised, often with provisions to make properties and infrastructure more resilient. Adaptation may involve requiring raised foundations in flood-prone areas or the installation of mitigating measures, such as sustainable drainage systems. Building codes may also be established to make structures more disaster-proof and to control the types of constructions within risk zones. But such adaptation options are often of limited use or unsuitable for high-risk areas. In such areas relocation is the only safe climate-proof response.

  • 32 dead, 500,000 homes without power, Wilmington virtually cut off

    Emergency crews have been busy Monday and today in many cities across the Carolinas as both residents and the authorities were trying to cope with the aftermath of a record rainfall. The water damaged tens of thousands of homes, and floodwaters may not recede for days. Even as the remnants of Hurricane Florence pulled away, it was clear that the turmoil had only begun.

  • Hurricanes can cause enormous damage inland, but emergency plans focus on coasts

    Coastal residents also prepare for major storms by building homes elevated above anticipated high water levels, in order to minimize damage and qualify for flood insurance. And building codes commonly call for reinforced construction to endure high wind speeds. All of these sensible and essential preparations focus on wind and storm surge in coastal zones. Today, however, risk from hurricanes is extending inland. Some of the worst damage from Eastern Seaboard hurricanes in the past several decades has come from inland flooding along rivers after storms move ashore.

  • When is a sea wall a good idea?

    Recent hurricanes like Maria and Sandy have brought crippling winds, torrential rains, and flooding to vulnerable coastal regions, in some cases killing thousands of people. Sea walls and other barriers are often suggested as a way of protecting these low-lying coastal communities, but how large should such a wall be, and where is the most effective place to build it? Environmental scientists and researchers is trying to answer these questions and more, to help curb the devastation from future hurricanes.

  • Keeping buildings functioning after natural disasters

    After an earthquake, hurricane, tornado or other natural hazard, it’s considered a win if no one gets hurt and buildings stay standing. But an even bigger victory is possible: keeping those structures operational. This outcome could become more likely with improved standards and codes for the construction of residential and commercial buildings.

  • Control system simulator helps operators to fight hackers

    A simulator that comes complete with a virtual explosion could help the operators of chemical processing plants – and other industrial facilities – learn to detect attacks by hackers bent on causing mayhem. The simulator will also help students and researchers understand better the security issues of industrial control systems.

  • Using Artificial Intelligence to locate risky dams

    In the U.S., 15,498 of the more than 88,000 dams in the country are categorized as having high hazard potential—meaning that if they fail, they could kill people. As of 2015, some 2,000 of these high hazard dams are in need of repair. With a hefty price tag estimated at around $20 billion, those repairs aren’t going to happen overnight.

  • Using Artificial Intelligence to locate risky dams

    In the U.S., 15,498 of the more than 88,000 dams in the country are categorized as having high hazard potential—meaning that if they fail, they could kill people. As of 2015, some 2,000 of these high hazard dams are in need of repair. With a hefty price tag estimated at around $20 billion, those repairs aren’t going to happen overnight.

  • Graphene laminated pipes reduce corrosion in the oil and gas industry

    Corrosion costs the oil and gas industry in the U.S. alone $1.4 billion. Researchers have discovered ways of using graphene to prolong the lifetime of pipes used in the oil and gas industry.

  • Catastrophic floods may trigger human resettlement away from rivers

    Flooding is one of the most damaging natural hazards, and its negative impacts have markedly increased in many regions of the world in recent decades. In the period 1980-2014, floods generated economic losses exceeding $1 trillion and caused more than 226,000 casualties. The increasing trend of global flood losses has mainly been attributed to the increasing exposure of people and assets due to rising populations in flood-prone areas.

  • Genoa bridge collapse: the mafia’s role

    Investigations into the collapse of the 51-year old Morandi Bridge in Genoa will look at different possible causes, including wear and tear, heavy traffic, structural flaws and other problems. As the usual political inferno between parties and private firms rages on, the phantom threat of mafia involvement in Italian construction has resurfaced. The region of Liguria sadly scores quite high in the assessments of mafia infiltration. In the area, Calabrian mafia clans of the ‘ndrangheta – Italy’s most powerful mafia today – have heavily invested in the construction sector, in public tenders and in the exploitation of the port of Genoa and the roads to France and to the rest of the Italian north, for the purposes of illegal trafficking.