Google and Amazon want more defense contracts, despite worker protests

Enlarge / A Project Nimbus cloud contract with the Israeli government has some Google and Amazon workers upset. (credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images) Hundreds of Google workers and their supporters gathered near the company’s downtown San Francisco offices Thursday, raising signs that read “No Tech for Apartheid” and filling the air… [Read More...]

One of 5G’s biggest features is a security minefield

Enlarge (credit: Anton Petrus | Getty) True 5G wireless data, with its ultrafast speeds and enhanced security protections, has been slow to roll out around the world. As the mobile technology proliferates—combining expanded speed and bandwidth with low-latency connections—one of its most touted features is starting to come in… [Read More...]

The age of brain-computer interfaces is on the horizon

Enlarge (credit: Synchron) Thomas Oxley has a love-hate relationship with Black Mirror. On the one hand, he can appreciate the show’s “gripping” appeal. On the other hand, it means facing a deluge of accusations that he’s spearheading humanity’s dystopian future. Oxley is the founder and CEO of Synchron, a… [Read More...]

Police linked to hacking campaign to frame Indian activists

Enlarge / Bike rally by police personnel during “We Make Pune City Safe” awareness campaign on October 3, 2017, in Pune, India. (credit: Pratham Gokhale/Getty) Police forces around the world have increasingly used hacking tools to identify and track protesters, expose political dissidents’ secrets, and turn activists’ computers and phones into inescapable… [Read More...]

An actively exploited Microsoft 0-day flaw still doesn’t have a patch

Enlarge (credit: mturhanlar | Getty Images) Researchers warned last weekend that a flaw in Microsoft’s Support Diagnostic Tool could be exploited using malicious Word documents to remotely take control of target devices. Microsoft released guidance on Monday, including temporary defense measures. By Tuesday, the United States Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security… [Read More...]

Hackers are exploiting 0-days more than ever

Enlarge / VPNfilter had a total of nine modular tools discovered thus far by researchers, potentially turning thousands of routers into a versatile attack platform. Previously unknown “zero-day” software vulnerabilities are mysterious and intriguing as a concept. But they’re even more noteworthy when hackers are spotted actively exploiting the novel… [Read More...]

The Senate bill that has Big Tech scared

Enlarge (credit: Wired | Getty Images) If you want to know how worried an industry is about a piece of pending legislation, a decent metric is how apocalyptic its predictions are about what the bill would do. By that standard, Big Tech is deeply troubled by the American Innovation and… [Read More...]

Russia inches closer to its splinternet dream

Enlarge (credit: Kirill Kudryavtsev | Getty Images) Russian Twitter users noticed something strange when they tried to access the service on March 4: They couldn’t. For the previous six days, anyone trying to access Twitter from within Russia saw their Internet speed slow to a crawl, no matter how fast their… [Read More...]

The TikTok-Oracle deal would set two dangerous precedents

Enlarge (credit: Sam Whitney | Getty Images) In August 2020, President Donald Trump dropped a bombshell executive order banning TikTok in the United States. Since then, as TikTok has competed against other Big Tech companies—growing among teen users while Facebook and others have struggled—its ability to survive in the United States… [Read More...]

Battery-powered trains are picking up speed

Enlarge (credit: Wabtec) Battery-electric power is commonplace in cars and trucks and is being tested in planes, helicopters, and container ships. Now, battery power is coming to trains, in place of the diesel-fueled generators that have powered locomotives for more than a century. Last week, Union Pacific Railroad… [Read More...]

Facebook’s data center plans rile residents in the Netherlands

Enlarge (credit: Robin Utrecht | Abaca Press | Alamy) When Susan Schaap, 61, travels from her Dutch hometown of Zeewolde to the nearest city of Leylystad, the 30-minute drive takes her through vast tulip fields, interrupted only by wind turbines and sometimes sheep. But if Facebook parent company Meta’s plans are… [Read More...]

To see proteins change in a quadrillionth of a second, use AI

Enlarge (credit: Westend61 | Getty Images) Have you ever had an otherwise perfect photo ruined by someone who moved too quickly and caused a blur? Scientists have the same issue while recording images of proteins that change their structure in response to light. This process is common in nature, so… [Read More...]

The movement to hold AI accountable gains more steam

Enlarge (credit: MirageC | Getty Images) Algorithms play a growing role in our lives, even as their flaws are becoming more apparent: a Michigan man wrongly accused of fraud had to file for bankruptcy; automated screening tools disproportionately harm people of color who want to buy a home or rent… [Read More...]

Why the chip shortage drags on and on… and on

Enlarge (credit: Bloomberg | Getty Images) The semiconductor industry lives at the cutting edge of technological progress. So why can’t it churn out enough chips to keep the world moving? Nearly two years into pandemic-caused disruptions, a severe shortage of computer chips—the components at the heart of smartphones, laptops… [Read More...]