Featurette

Bitcoin scams steal at least $11 million in virtual deposits from unsuspecting customers

bitcoin, fraud, scams, SMU, Tyler MooreAt least $11 million in bitcoin deposits have been stolen from unsuspecting cyber customers over the past four years, according to new cyber security research from Southern Methodist University.

Bitcoin is the digital world’s most popular virtual currency. In the first empirical study of its kind, SMU researchers found that hucksters use schemes that pose as legitimate web-based financial outlets to lure customers and heist deposits. Continue reading

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Teen girls report less sexual victimization after virtual reality assertiveness training

Simpson Rowe, SMU, victimization, sexual coercion, virtual reality, Jouriles, McDonaldTeen girls were less likely to report being sexually victimized after learning to assertively resist unwanted sexual overtures and practicing resistance in a realistic virtual environment, finds a new study.

The effects persisted over a three-month period following the training, said clinical psychologist Lorelei Simpson Rowe, lead author on the pilot study from Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Continue reading

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Women who are told men desire women with larger bodies are happier with their weight

SMU, women, body image, MeltzerTelling women that men desire larger women who aren’t model-thin made the women feel better about their own weight in a series of new studies from Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

Results of the three independent studies suggest a woman’s body image is strongly linked to her perception of what she thinks men prefer, said social psychologist Andrea Meltzer, lead researcher on the study. Continue reading

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Fossil supervolcano in Italian Alps may answer deep mysteries around active supervolcanoes

James Quick, SMU, supervolcano, Italy, Sesia ValleyThere’s nothing subtle about the story told by the rocks in northern Italy’s Sesia Valley. Evidence of ancient volcanic activity is all around, says geologist and volcanologist James Quick, Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

But the full story is much less obvious, said Quick, who led an international team that in 2009 announced they had discovered a 282-million-year-old fossil supervolcano in Sesia Valley. Continue reading

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Scientists issue call to action for archaeological sites threatened by rising seas, urban development

Western%20Site%20Margin%20400x300.jpgShould global warming cause sea levels to rise as predicted in coming decades, thousands of archaeological sites in coastal areas around the world will be lost to erosion.

With no hope of saving all these sites, an SMU archaeologist and others call for scientists to assess the sites most at risk.

Photo: A site at Anacapa Island, southern California, is in danger of eroding into the ocean. (Credit: Reeder)
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