In music, you have scales. In Jiu Jitsu, it's drilling. Most of us just call it practice. Whatever you label it, many believe that greatness, heck even mere competency, requires training a skill well past proficiency. It's continuing to practice your free throw even after you've nailed every shot. It's playing through that song one more time even though you've made no mistakes. Scientists call this training past the point of improvement 'overlearning.' And a recent study in Nature Neuroscience suggests that it might improve performance by altering chemicals in the brain that “lock” in training.
Want to spy on your neighbors from outside? In a similar situation, MacGyver rigs up a distant laser microphone. When a conversation goes on inside a room, it creates vibrations in the air—vibrations that carry to the glass of a window. All a would-be eavesdropper need do is point a laser at the window, aiming the beam so that it bounces off the glass and returns to hit a light-sensitive photocell. The photocell can detect fluctuations in the laser beam—and if you wire that photocell to a speaker, it will translate the window's vibrations back into sound waves.
If you were on the internet this week, as you may have been if you're reading this, then you probably noticed some sites are having trouble loading, and others are not working at all. There's a good reason for that. Well, not a good reason, but a clear, obvious reason: someone is attacking the internet, and they're succeeding.
This afternoon, the United States Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a statement claiming that the Russian Government “directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations.”
Two US state election databases have been hacked by foreign hackers, according to a new report by the Federal Bureau of the Investigation. The FBI says these actions may have been carried out by either Russian government hackers, or cybercriminals who are seeking to find and use protected tax information.
Last week, a group called the "Shadow Brokers" stole 234 megabytes of data from the National Security Agency (NSA). The leak included information about the "cyberweapons" the NSA uses to hack suspects and enemies, and a tracking code that reveals the fingerprints of the NSA's malicious software.