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Breaking the Code

18 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 12 November 2013

How safe is your encrypted information? Researchers have decided to test reliability – starting with the open source software TrueCrypt. They have raised $50,000 to conduct an audit of the TrueCrypt software to make sure it has no NSA back doors. After TrueCrypt they will move onto others. Professor Matthew Green from Johns Hopkins University discusses the need for such a test.

Robo Cockroaches
The company, Backyard Brains, have put together a controversial tool kit to help students better understand neuroscience. The company provides kits that will allow school children to implant sensors into cockroaches after drilling a tiny hole in their backs. The sensors can then allow the cockroaches’ movement to be remote controlled. Click talks to Greg Gage about the practicalities and ethics of devising a system to remote control insects.

Ultra Haptics
Researchers at the University of Bristol in the UK have devised a system to make touch screens more sensitive, using ultrasound waves to produce haptic feedback. With this technology you do not even need to touch the screen. Project supervisor Sriram Subramanian, explains how digital devices can be controlled by letting your hands hover over the virtual knobs.

(Photo credit: Racks of assembled network points © AFP/Getty Images)


3 items
  • Breaking the Code

    Can you trust the code with your information? How easy is it to break encrypted codes?

  • Robo Cockroaches

    A controversial toolkit allows students to remote control cockroaches.

  • Ultra Haptics

    How to play devices by letting your hands hover over the virtual controls.



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