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Nano-scale 'fingerprint' could boost security

An atomic-scale fingerprint could boost the security of connected devices, according to British scientists who have developed it.

The tiny identity tags are essentially tiny imperfections in the building blocks of matter, making them virtually impossible to clone.

They could be used as the basis of a robust system for authenticating hardware and software,

Details of the work are published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The researchers from the UK universities of Lancaster and Manchester built tiny, layered metallic structures in the lab and incorporated “design flaws” that were unique to the item.

“What you do is shrink these systems down as far as they will go,” Dr Jonathan Roberts from Lancaster told BBC News.

“And the interesting thing is that you can’t clone them. To clone them, you’d effectively have to measure [the fingerprints] atom-by-atom. You just can’t do it.”

The fingerprint structures were demonstrated at the nano-scale where the laws of quantum mechanics take over from the ones that predominate at larger scales.

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But the researchers say it is a proof of principle which could be integrated into existing chip manufacturing processes.

“These could be used to authenticate any electronic equipment and be 100% secure,” said Dr Roberts.

“Having one of these devices in each and every piece of electronic equipment, you could challenge that electronic device and see what it outputs in order to identify it.”

“If you imagine self-driving cars communicating with a fake server, that could have dramatic consequences.”

The technology is already being commercialised through a spin-out company Quantum Base.

 

_86618203_d5f5cf4b-c55b-4981-8867-94d2d55a8ea3

Nano-scale ‘fingerprint’ could boost security

An atomic-scale fingerprint could boost the security of connected devices, according to British scientists who have developed it.

The tiny identity tags are essentially tiny imperfections in the building blocks of matter, making them virtually impossible to clone.

They could be used as the basis of a robust system for authenticating hardware and software,

Details of the work are published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The researchers from the UK universities of Lancaster and Manchester built tiny, layered metallic structures in the lab and incorporated “design flaws” that were unique to the item.

“What you do is shrink these systems down as far as they will go,” Dr Jonathan Roberts from Lancaster told BBC News.

“And the interesting thing is that you can’t clone them. To clone them, you’d effectively have to measure [the fingerprints] atom-by-atom. You just can’t do it.”

The fingerprint structures were demonstrated at the nano-scale where the laws of quantum mechanics take over from the ones that predominate at larger scales.

_86618200_86616452

But the researchers say it is a proof of principle which could be integrated into existing chip manufacturing processes.

“These could be used to authenticate any electronic equipment and be 100% secure,” said Dr Roberts.

“Having one of these devices in each and every piece of electronic equipment, you could challenge that electronic device and see what it outputs in order to identify it.”

“If you imagine self-driving cars communicating with a fake server, that could have dramatic consequences.”

The technology is already being commercialised through a spin-out company Quantum Base.

 

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Kickstarter's Zano drone fails to fly

It was Europe’s most successful Kickstarter project – but now the Zano mini-drone is in deep crisis.

Last night, the former chief executive of Torquing Group – the firm behind the Zano – resigned. That left the thousands who had backed the firm with more than £2m a year ago in despair.

Ivan Reedman, the engineer driving the design of the mini-drone, explained why he was going in a post on a Zano forum.

“My resignation is due to personal health issues and irreconcilable differences,” he wrote.

Reedman, who stepped down as chief executive to become R&D director last year after new investors bought into the business, had been the only executive to engage with worried backers over recent months.

“To say I am devastated pales when compared to what I am feeling,” his statement said.

Those who had backed the project reacted with sadness.

“Fingers crossed Zano can continue,” wrote one backer, “for the benefit of everyone (including me) that has invested their hard-earned money.”

But many of the more than 12,000 backers have already despaired of receiving what they were promised in Zano’s Kickstarter campaign.

Its promotional video showed the tiny drone following a mountain bike down a wooded path, and a cliff diver plunging into the sea, all the while capturing high-quality video.

But when I visited the Zano team in Pembroke Dock, south west Wales in August, it was already clear that the project was in trouble.

I got the first demonstration of the drone and it was not impressive, staying airborne for only a few minutes, colliding with walls, and delivering very poor video.

Reedman promised that these problems would be ironed out with later software upgrades, and that the priority was to start delivering the device to backers.

Zano drones
Image captionThe first batches of Zanos have not provided all the functions that had been promised

Since then, some backers have received their drones. But as far as I can see, none has been happy.

“Give me back my money, let me put it towards a drone that works,” was one comment on a Zano Facebook forum.

An American backer wrote about the frustrations of flying the drone compared with what was promised in the promotional video.

“Follow me… Hold position… Gesture control… Return to base… all claims on the Kickstarter Campaign video,” he wrote.

“So, how close are they? Seems like most people are pleading with them to send one that flies… Jeez!”

Anger mounted as Torquing Group started sending Zanos to people who had paid to pre-order them before those who had backed the Kickstarter project.

That was seen as a betrayal to backers who could not get a refund. By contrast, pre-order customers were getting their money back if they cancelled.

“Sending Zanos out to pre-order customers before backers was a huge mistake in my opinion,” one backer, David Black told me.

“The backers were the people that brought this project to life and should have been Torquing’s priority.

“Sending to pre-orders seems to show a lack of respect to backers and Kickstarter in general.”

Some attacked Kickstarter itself, saying the crowdfunding platform should not have allowed the project to go ahead without checking that the promotional video gave a true picture of the product.

“I will never invest in a Kickstarter again,” wrote Ashley Hall on a forum.

“You save a small amount of money but ultimately you end up with a partially completed beta product.”

Earlier this month I contacted Reece Crowther, Torquing’s marketing manager. I asked a number of questions about the project and its failure to deliver what had been promised, but received no response.

Last night, after news of Reedman’s resignation emerged, I got in touch again.

This time Crowther did respond, but only to say this: “We will be releasing an official statement in the next 48 hours to address the recent resignation of Ivan Reedman. We are still digesting this news internally and we are in a state of shock at present.”

So, Zano’s army of backers will have to wait a while to find out what happens next.

It is safe to say that many, if not most, have already given up on what now looks like Europe’s most disastrous Kickstarter project.

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Kickstarter’s Zano drone fails to fly

It was Europe’s most successful Kickstarter project – but now the Zano mini-drone is in deep crisis.

Last night, the former chief executive of Torquing Group – the firm behind the Zano – resigned. That left the thousands who had backed the firm with more than £2m a year ago in despair.

Ivan Reedman, the engineer driving the design of the mini-drone, explained why he was going in a post on a Zano forum.

“My resignation is due to personal health issues and irreconcilable differences,” he wrote.

Reedman, who stepped down as chief executive to become R&D director last year after new investors bought into the business, had been the only executive to engage with worried backers over recent months.

“To say I am devastated pales when compared to what I am feeling,” his statement said.

Those who had backed the project reacted with sadness.

“Fingers crossed Zano can continue,” wrote one backer, “for the benefit of everyone (including me) that has invested their hard-earned money.”

But many of the more than 12,000 backers have already despaired of receiving what they were promised in Zano’s Kickstarter campaign.

Its promotional video showed the tiny drone following a mountain bike down a wooded path, and a cliff diver plunging into the sea, all the while capturing high-quality video.

But when I visited the Zano team in Pembroke Dock, south west Wales in August, it was already clear that the project was in trouble.

I got the first demonstration of the drone and it was not impressive, staying airborne for only a few minutes, colliding with walls, and delivering very poor video.

Reedman promised that these problems would be ironed out with later software upgrades, and that the priority was to start delivering the device to backers.

Zano drones
Image captionThe first batches of Zanos have not provided all the functions that had been promised

Since then, some backers have received their drones. But as far as I can see, none has been happy.

“Give me back my money, let me put it towards a drone that works,” was one comment on a Zano Facebook forum.

An American backer wrote about the frustrations of flying the drone compared with what was promised in the promotional video.

“Follow me… Hold position… Gesture control… Return to base… all claims on the Kickstarter Campaign video,” he wrote.

“So, how close are they? Seems like most people are pleading with them to send one that flies… Jeez!”

Anger mounted as Torquing Group started sending Zanos to people who had paid to pre-order them before those who had backed the Kickstarter project.

That was seen as a betrayal to backers who could not get a refund. By contrast, pre-order customers were getting their money back if they cancelled.

“Sending Zanos out to pre-order customers before backers was a huge mistake in my opinion,” one backer, David Black told me.

“The backers were the people that brought this project to life and should have been Torquing’s priority.

“Sending to pre-orders seems to show a lack of respect to backers and Kickstarter in general.”

Some attacked Kickstarter itself, saying the crowdfunding platform should not have allowed the project to go ahead without checking that the promotional video gave a true picture of the product.

“I will never invest in a Kickstarter again,” wrote Ashley Hall on a forum.

“You save a small amount of money but ultimately you end up with a partially completed beta product.”

Earlier this month I contacted Reece Crowther, Torquing’s marketing manager. I asked a number of questions about the project and its failure to deliver what had been promised, but received no response.

Last night, after news of Reedman’s resignation emerged, I got in touch again.

This time Crowther did respond, but only to say this: “We will be releasing an official statement in the next 48 hours to address the recent resignation of Ivan Reedman. We are still digesting this news internally and we are in a state of shock at present.”

So, Zano’s army of backers will have to wait a while to find out what happens next.

It is safe to say that many, if not most, have already given up on what now looks like Europe’s most disastrous Kickstarter project.

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5 reasons why you need EE's new 4G Action Cam

The 4G Action Cam from EE is the first of its kind to hit the market, offering up unrivalled 4G streaming, a cool companion viewfinder watch and impressive waterproof capabilities.

At up to four hours its battery lasts longer than the competition, and with its waterproof case it can even go deeper under water than any of its rivals.

The video below shows you five reasons why you need EE’s 4G Action Cam, whether you’re surfing, skydiving or just going for a walk, but before you press play here’s a quick overview.

1. 4G Live Streaming

The EE Action Cam is a world’s first, as it’s the only action camera that live streams footage to your friends and family in real time over 4G. Whether you’re taking your new puppy for its first walk in the park, or screeching round the track in a fancy sports car you’ll be able to share your experience live with the world.

2. Viewfinder Watch

This unique companion watch gives you a live view of the Action Cam’s viewfinder, ensuring you’ve got it lined up perfectly before you jump out of that plane.

3. Record HD footage

4G live streaming is one thing, but that’s not all it can do. The Action Cam also records full HD, 1080p video at 30 frames per second.

4. Still photographs

The 4G Action Cam captures high quality still photographs thanks to its 13MP sensor. There’s even a burst mode which takes eight full resolution photos every second, ensuring you don’t miss any of the action.

5. Waterproof

If surfing, canoeing or white water rafting is more your style then the 4G Action Cam is ready to hit the drink with you. It’s waterproof at depths of up to 60 metres, which is 30% deeper than rival cameras can sink.