Super-computers aren’t super-secure

US National Science Foundation flings US$5 million at scientific computing infosec

America's National Science Foundation is slinging US$5 million to help improve the security of scientific high-performance computing (HPC) infrastructure.…

Epically awesome pictures of Saturn

Saturn

Saturn flaunts the most majestic planetary rings in the solar system, but those are not the only things that make this beautiful gas giant unique. It's also the farthest planet from Earth that we can see with the naked eye.

From 746 million miles away, however, we can't observe Saturn like NASA's Cassini spacecraft, which has been orbiting the ringed planet since 2004.

While some of Cassini's photos portray Saturn as a tranquil giant floating in space, others reveal the dynamic, stormy nature of its windy atmosphere. 

Here's a collection of some of the most incredible images Cassini has captured so far. You can learn more about each image by clicking the link provided in each photo's caption in the lower right.

LEARN MORE: The 2 most dangerous numbers in the universe are threatening the end of physics

SEE ALSO: I drove the 6,600-lb 'car' that NASA designed for astronauts on Mars, and I'll never see space exploration the same way again

The sun is located directly behind Saturn in this image taken from 1.3 million miles away. The light from the sun passes through Saturn's rings, revealing the never-before-seen E ring, which is the faint, outer-most ring below.



Shown here is a beautifully detailed look at Saturn's four inner rings. The closest to the planet is the D ring, and extending outward from there are the C, B, and A rings. Each ring is separated by a thin, empty gap.



This image highlights Saturn's North Pole, which displays a six-sided hurricane that's 60 miles deep and a whopping 1,250 miles across.




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How luxury shoppers are changing the face of retail

bii luxury

Luxury shoppers are highly coveted customers for brands and retailers. The top 10% of US household earners (those taking home $120,000 or more annually) account for approximately half of all consumer expenditures.

This demographic’s growing preference for online shopping is changing the face of luxury retail, and it has significant implications for how brands target luxury consumers.

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we profile the luxury shopper and take a close look at the spending habits and preferences of high-income earners — including how and where they shop.

 

Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • Discretionary spending among the wealthy is growing faster than for the average US consumer. Discretionary spending among those earning $120,000 a year or more is expected to increase 6.6% in 2016, reaching $406 billion, according to YouGov. Among the top 1%, it's expected to rise 10%. By contrast, discretionary spending for the average US consumer dropped 1% between 2014 and 2015.
  • Wealthy consumers are expected to spend the most next year on fashion, travel, and dining. Among these categories, spending on fashion (specifically, apparel, accessories, and handbags) will grow the most, increasing 6.9% to $37.4 billion (roughly 9% of total discretionary spending). 
  • Luxury brands are over-allocating ad spend to print media. The seven largest US luxury brands collectively spent $133 million last year on holiday ad spending, 57% of which was allocated to magazine ads, according to the Shullman Research Center. But among luxury shoppers, recall rates are higher for digital ads.
  • There are signs that luxury shopping is less brand- and status-oriented than it once was. Luxury shoppers, like the average consumer, enjoy the convenience and low prices of online retailers like Amazon vs. shopping via official brand sites. Luxury shopping may become even more price-sensitive as millennials age. 

 

In full, the report:

  • Sizes the market for personal luxury goods, by country.
  • Measures the effectiveness of luxury marketing channels.
  • Breaks down ad spend among luxury brands.
  • Identifies where luxury consumers shop online and in-store.

 

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now
  2. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now

 


 

BI Intelligence DevicesPS. Did you know...

Our BI Intelligence INSIDER Newsletters are currently read by thousands of business professionals first thing every morning. Fortune 1000 companies, startups, digital agencies, investment firms, and media conglomerates rely on these newsletters to keep atop the key trends shaping their digital landscape — whether it is mobile, digital media, e-commerce, payments, or the Internet of Things.

Our subscribers consider the INSIDER Newsletters a "daily must-read industry snapshot" and "the edge needed to succeed personally and professionally" — just to pick a few highlights from our recent customer survey.

With our full money-back guarantee, we make it easy to find out for yourself how valuable the daily insights are for your business and career.  Click this link to learn all about the INSIDER Newsletters today.

 

 

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Sign up for BI Intelligence’s webinar – The new retail: How consumer behavior is disrupting commerce

HolidayShoppingWebinar4x3We witnessed a number of dramatic shifts in how people shopped during the most recent holiday season, signaling that changes are coming to the broader retail landscape, affecting brands, retailers, and shippers.

Join Cooper Smith, Senior Research Analyst at BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, for a free strategy-focused webinar on January 29, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. ET so that we can guide you through our recommendations on how to prepare for the year ahead in reta

Sign up today to discover:

  • How brands allocated their marketing spend ahead of the holidays, and the effectiveness of that spending
  • The promotions that leading retailers offered during the holidays
  • Hiccups in the transportation and logistics space as a result of weather and/or peak shopping period

Click here to register now >>

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This stealth startup is trying to beat Microsoft and be the dashboard for all your documents

Original story here: http://www.businessinsider.com/stride-labs-versus-microsoft-graph-2016-1

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NOW WATCH: Find out if you live near one of the 153 US Walmart stores that are closing this month

I tried out a startup that lets you borrow someone else’s dog — here’s what it’s like

Puppy in Grass

There's no shortage of well-funded startups that cater to dogs and their owners.

BarkBox, a New York City-based startup, is a subscription-box service catering to dog lovers that's raised $21 million in VC funding. Los Angeles-based DogVacay, a sort of Airbnb for dogs, has raised $47 million.

Now there's a new startup called Bark'N'Borrow that wants to match up dogs in need of a sitter with people who love them.

Founded by Liam Berkeley in 2014, the startup is based in Los Angeles and connects people who want to hang out with a dog — maybe take one for a walk or keep it overnight.

It's free to use for dog owners and dog borrowers, though the service has a professional tier where money is exchanged between dog owners and professional dog walkers and sitters. The startup makes money by taking a cut of the money exchanged on the service's professional tier.

I live in New York City, and it's not easy to convince a landlord here to let you have a dog. I tried out Bark'N'Borrow's service to borrow a dog for a few hours this weekend.

SEE ALSO: I let anyone send me pictures on Snapchat for 6 weeks — here's what happened

Liam Berkeley started Bark'N'Borrow in 2014. He and his girlfriend wanted a dog but couldn't have one themselves at the time. So he created a network for people to borrow other people's dogs. You can use Bark'N'Borrow to find a cute dog nearby to take on a walk or hang out with for a few hours. It's free — you don't get paid to take a dog on a walk — though the company has expanded to paid jobs for professional sitters.

 

 



When you download the app, you're prompted to make a profile about yourself. I added a picture of me holding my parents' dog.



This is what dog owners see of you, so you want to make it clear you're a dog person. I think I spent longer crafting my Bark'N'Borrow profile than I ever have my Tinder bio.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Technology is disrupting the financial services industry — here’s how

BII-The Fintech Ecosystem

Technology is upending workflow and processes in the financial services industry. Tasks once handled with paper money, bulky computers, and human interaction are now being completed entirely on digital interfaces. Given how pervasive financial services are across the globe, the disruption opportunity for fintech startups is massive.

Almost every type of financial activity — from banking to payments to wealth management and more — is being re-imagined by startups, some of which have garnered blockbuster investments. Meanwhile, the old guard is trying to solve a puzzle presented by the fintech revolution: How can they benefit from the rise of digital, and how can they avoid obsolescence? 

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we provide a detailed overview of the fintech ecosystem, explain the challenges and opportunities for incumbents and startups and evaluate the key areas of finance being disrupted by new technologies. We also determine which financial sectors are most vulnerable, which are still shielded from immediate disruption, and what that means for new entrants and financial giants.

Companies mentioned in the report include: Lending Club, Stripe, Square, Apple, Western Union, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, TransferWise, China Rapid Finance, Lufax, OnDeck, Dwolla, PayPal, Adyen, Simple, Moven, Ally, Capital One 360, Betterment, Wealthfront, Vanguard, Fidelity, Charles Schwab, Allstate, Oscar, Metromile, Azimo, Klarna, Number26, Atom Bank, LendingRobot, Earnest, and more.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • Fintech — financial technology — is an umbrella term describing disruptive technologies in financial services. Fintech has transformed the way money is managed. It affects almost every financial activity, from banking to payments to wealth management. Startups are re-imagining financial services processes, while incumbent financial services firms are following suit with new products of their own.
  • Established players and startups face very different challenges. Banks are investing more heavily in innovation, however, they haven't yet fully diffused their innovation strategies throughout their organizations. Meanwhile, startups are trying to navigate the regulatory landscape. Banks will have to find a way to develop new platforms while overcoming legacy infrastructure; startups will have to find a way to scale out their business while facing increased regulations, higher costs, and larger infrastructures that will be more difficult to change and manage. 
  • The blockchain is a wild card that could completely overhaul financial services. Both major banks and startups around the world are exploring the technology behind the blockchain, which stores and records Bitcoin transactions. This technology could lower the cost of many financial activities to near-zero. This would have a dramatic effect on big banks, which currently face high operating costs. It's also disruptive in that it could disintermediate many financial processes.

In full, the report:

  • Defines fintech and explains the main growth drivers of this new ecosystem.
  • Frames the challenges and opportunities faced by incumbents and startups.
  • Provides data on global and regional fintech investments, evaluating which regions are the most significant and which are poised for the highest growth. 
  • Determines the financial sectors facing disruption and breaks them down in terms of investments.
  • Explains why blockchain technology is critically important to banks and startups, and assesses which players stand to gain the most from it.
  • Examines what banks and startups see as their greatest challenges in navigating this ecosystem.
  • Offers concluding thoughts on which sectors are the most vulnerable, which regions and segments will see the highest growth, and which new entrants and established players will fare the best during the migration to digital.

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Purchase & download the full report from our research store.» Purchase & Download
  2. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally.» Learn More Now

 


 

BI Intelligence DevicesPS. Did you know...

Our BI Intelligence INSIDER Newsletters are currently read by thousands of business professionals first thing every morning. Fortune 1000 companies, startups, digital agencies, investment firms, and media conglomerates rely on these newsletters to keep atop the key trends shaping their digital landscape — whether it is mobile, digital media, e-commerce, payments, or the Internet of Things.

Our subscribers consider the INSIDER Newsletters a "daily must-read industry snapshot" and "the edge needed to succeed personally and professionally" — just to pick a few highlights from our recent customer survey.

With our full money-back guarantee, we make it easy to find out for yourself how valuable the daily insights are for your business and career. Click this link to learn all about the INSIDER Newsletters today.

 

 

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NOW WATCH: The biggest security mistakes people make when buying things online

4 cosmic phenomena that travel faster than the speed of light

Albert Einstein chalkboard

When Albert Einstein first predicted that light travels the same speed everywhere in our universe, he essentially stamped a speed limit on it: 670,616,629 miles per hour — fast enough to circle the entire Earth eight times every second.

But that's not the entire story. In fact, it's just the beginning.

Before Einstein, mass — the atoms that make up you, me, and everything we see — and energy were treated as separate entities. But in 1905, Einstein forever changed the way physicists view the universe.

Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity permanently tied mass and energy together in the simple yet fundamental equation E=mc2. This little equation predicts that nothing with mass can move as fast as light, or faster.

The closest humankind has ever come to reaching the speed of light is inside of powerful particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider and the Tevatron.

These colossal machines accelerate subatomic particles to more than 99.99% the speed of light, but as Physics Nobel laureate David Gross explains, these particles will never reach the cosmic speed limit.

To do so would require an infinite amount of energy and, in the process, the object's mass would become infinite, which is impossible. (The reason particles of light, called photons, travel at light speeds is because they have no mass.)

Since Einstein, physicists have found that certain entities can reach superluminal (that means "faster-than-light") speeds and still follow the cosmic rules laid down by special relativity. While these do not disprove Einstein's theory, they give us insight into the peculiar behavior of light and the quantum realm.

The light equivalent of a sonic boom

nuclear reactorWhen objects travel faster than the speed of sound, they generate a sonic boom. So, in theory, if something travels faster than the speed of light, it should produce something like a "luminal boom."

In fact, this light boom happens on a daily basis in facilities around the world — you can see it with your own eyes. It's called Cherenkov radiation, and it shows up as a blue glow inside of nuclear reactors, like in the Advanced Test Reactor at the Idaho National Laboratory in the image to the right.

Cherenkov radiation is named for Soviet scientist Pavel Alekseyevich Cherenkov, who first measured it in 1934 and was awarded the Nobel Physics Prize in 1958 for his discovery.

Cherenkov radiation glows because the core of the Advanced Test Reactor is submerged in water to keep it cool. In water, light travels at 75 % the speed it would in the vacuum of outer space, but the electrons created by the reaction inside of the core travel through the water faster than the light does.

Particles, like these electrons, that surpass the speed of light in water, or some other medium such as glass, create a shock wave similar to the shock wave from a sonic boom.

When a rocket, for example, travels through air, it generates pressure waves in front that move away from it at the speed of sound, and the closer the rocket reaches that sound barrier, the less time the waves have to move out of the object's path. Once it reaches the speed of sound, the waves bunch up creating a shock front that forms a loud sonic boom.

Similarly, when electrons travel through water at speeds faster than light speed in water, they generate a shock wave of light that sometimes shines as blue light, but can also shine in ultraviolet.

While these particles are traveling faster than light does in water, they're not actually breaking the cosmic speed limit of 670,616,629 miles per hour.

When the rules don't apply

cosmic web 3d mapKeep in mind that Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity states that nothing with mass can go faster than the speed of light, and as far as physicists can tell, the universe abides by that rule. But what about something without mass?

Photons, by their very nature, cannot exceed the speed of light, but particles of light are not the only massless entity in the universe. Empty space contains no material substance and therefore, by definition, has no mass.

"Since nothing is just empty space or vacuum, it can expand faster than light speed since no material object is breaking the light barrier," said theoretical astrophysicist Michio Kaku on Big Think. "Therefore, empty space can certainly expand faster than light."

This is exactly what physicists think happened immediately after the Big Bang during the epoch called inflation, which was first hypothesized by physicists Alan Guth and Andrei Linde in the 1980s. Within a trillionth of a trillionth of a second, the universe repeatedly doubled in size and as a result, the outer edge of the universe expanded very quickly, much faster than the speed of light.

Quantum entanglement makes the cut

Quantum ComputerQuantum entanglement sounds complex and intimidating but at a rudimentary level entanglement is just the way subatomic particles communicate with each other.

"If I have two electrons close together, they can vibrate in unison, according to the quantum theory," Kaku explains on Big Think. Now, separate those two electrons so that they're hundreds or even thousands of light years apart, and they will keep this instant communication bridge open.

"If I jiggle one electron, the other electron 'senses' this vibration instantly, faster than the speed of light. Einstein thought that this therefore disproved the quantum theory, since nothing can go faster than light," Kaku wrote.

In fact, in 1935, Einstein, Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen, attempted to disprove quantum theory with a thought experiment on what Einstein referred to as "spooky actions at a distance."

Ironically, their paper laid the foundation for what today is called the EPR (Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen) paradox, a paradox that describes this instantaneous communication of quantum entanglement — an integral part of some of the world's most cutting-edge technologies, like quantum cryptography.

Dreaming of wormholes

wormhole interstellarSince nothing with mass can travel faster than light, you can kiss interstellar travel goodbye — at least, in the classical sense of rocketships and flying.

Although Einstein trampled over our aspirations of deep-space roadtrips with his Theory of Special Relativity, he gave us a new hope for interstellar travel with his General Theory of Relativity in 1915.

While Special Relativity wed mass and energy, General Relativity wove space and time together.

"The only viable way of breaking the light barrier may be through General Relativity and the warping of space time," Kaku writes. This warping is what we colloquially call a "wormhole," which theoretically would let something travel vast distances instantaneously, essentially enabling us to break the cosmic speed limit by traveling great distances in a very short amount of time.

In 1988, theoretical physicist Kip Thorne — the science consultant and executive producer for the recent film "Interstellar" — used Einstein's equations of General Relativity to predict the possibility of wormholes that would forever be open for space travel.

But in order to be traversable, these wormholes need some strange, exotic matter holding them open.

"Now it is an amazing fact that exotic matter can exist, thanks to weirdnesses in the laws of quantum physics," Thorne writes in his book "The Science of Interstellar."

And this exotic matter has even been made in laboratories here on Earth, but in very tiny amounts. When Thorne proposed his theory of stable wormholes in 1988 he called upon the physics community to help him determine if enough exotic matter could exist in the universe to support the possibility of a wormhole.

"This triggered a lot of research by a lot of physicists; but today, nearly thirty years later, the answer is still unknown." Thorne writes. At the moment, it's not looking good, "But we are still far from a final answer," he concludes.

CHECK OUT: Why a rumor about the discovery of something Einstein predicted 100 years ago is going viral

SEE ALSO: NASA is upping the competition on SpaceX

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25 skills you’ll need to master if you want to land a job in 2016

guy on laptop

It's January, so there's a good chance you're on the hunt for a new job.

According to sites like Monster.com and LinkedIn, this is the most popular time of year for job seekers to kick off their search. 

To find out what it takes to successfully land a job, LinkedIn analyzed all of the hiring and recruiting activity that occurred on its site in 2015, and uncovered the 25 hottest skills in 14 different countries. 

"If your skills fit one or more of these skills categories (a grouping of related skills), there’s a chance you either started a new job or attracted the interest of recruiters last year," explains LinkedIn researcher Sohan Murthy in a recent LinkedIn post. "We noticed that companies were still recruiting and hiring for these skills well into the final months of 2015, so we expect these skills will remain in-demand in the early part of 2016. This means if you have one or more of these skills, you’re likely to continue getting interest from recruiters in the new year."

Here are the hottest skills in the US:

linkedin skills

Click here to see the hottest skills in 13 other countries, as well as related job openings.

SEE ALSO: 25 jobs that are quickly disappearing from the US

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NOW WATCH: Here's what a hiring manager scans for when reviewing résumés

This Roomba-like robot for windows fixes the most annoying thing about cleaning

This robot is designed clean the hard-to-reach places that makes window washing such a chore.

Produced by Corey Protin. Edited by Maya Dangerfield. 

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