Dinner is set but the phone rings, and when you pick up it isn’t a friend, or someone you know, sometimes it’s not even a person. It’s a robocall.
Robocalls for years have managed to catch people at the most inopportune moments, and the shift from landlines to mobile phones hasn’t seemed to prevent all those fake tax collectors and mortgage vendors from calling in.
Tech companies and app developers everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief after Monday’s major Supreme Court ruling on a topic that’s close to their hearts: patents. More specifically, patent lawsuits — a rising number of which analysts say are bogus and threaten to strangle new start-ups and inventions before they have a chance to succeed.
When the National Security Agency began using a new hacking tool called EternalBlue, those entrusted with deploying it marveled at both its uncommon power and the widespread havoc it could wreak if it ever got loose.
Senate lawmakers voted Thursday to repeal a historic set of rules aimed at protecting consumers’ online data from their own Internet providers, in a move that could make it easier for broadband companies to sell and share their customers’ usage information for advertising purposes.
Even as fanatic customers can be counted on to line up outside the Apple store for the latest iPhone, there are still millions of Americans who don’t use a smartphone at all. For that matter, there are still plenty of happy owners of tube televisions, rotary dial telephones, film cameras, fax machines, typewriters and cassette tape players.
One of the promises that virtual reality offered was that we’d all be able to watch “courtside” sports games without having to leave our couches. Sporting event organizers from the Rio Olympics to the British Premier League have touted the new technology as a way to be there without having to deal with the expense, travel and crowds of an actual game.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX said Monday that it has discovered the cause of a September rocket explosion and plans to return to flight as soon as Sunday.
The conclusions of the company’s investigation have yet to be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, and the agency has yet to provide it a license to launch. But SpaceX’s statement means that it has confidence that federal agencies will approve its remedies for the problem and that it will soon receive the green light.
President Obama approved a new directive Tuesday that spells out for the first time in writing how the government handles significant cyber-incidents. The directive lets the public know which agency handles what, answering an oft-heard question after a breach: Whom do I call for help?
There comes a point in every adult’s life when one stops and thinks: I could really use a personal assistant. I know I could. The Washington Post’s budget, however, doesn’t stretch to provide each reporter with a personal aide. But thanks to the magic of technology, I have regular access to five digital assistants: Siri, Cortana, Alexa, Google Now and an email-based scheduling assistant called Amy.
Drone have been used to drop bombs, spy on foreign countries and monitor how farmers work their fields. Now they could help hack into personal computers.
According to e-mails posted by WikiLeaks, military contractors may want to do just that. Boeing and Hacking Team — a Milan-based company criticized for selling surveillance software to repressive governments — were in talks earlier this year to plant malware on drones to perform such activities, according to the e-mails, which were stolen from Hacking Team in July.
Last week I shared some photos from inside Google’s prototype of a self-driving car. The reactions were about as polarized as I’ve ever seen on a blog post I’ve written. The first group of readers were amazed, and they wanted to know where they could buy one. Everyone else was terrified of the interior. A car that they could never steer? No thanks.
Lies are a fact of life. But technology may soon make them obsolete.
“Almost everybody lies now and then,” said Tim Levine, chair of the Communications Studies Department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “Most people are pretty good at it, in that you can’t tell when they are lying just by watching and listening to them.”
The Boston-based Future of Life Institute, backed by a $10 million donation from Elon Musk, recently announced its list of 37 winners of research grants in the field of artificial intelligence. Spurred by concerns from luminaries such as Musk, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates that we’re ill-prepared for the coming age of machine super-intelligence, the grants — ranging in size from $20,000 to $1.5 million — are part of a bigger plan to prevent AI from wrecking the planet.
It’s finally happened. The North American organization responsible for handing out new IP addresses says its banks have run dry.
That’s right: ARIN, the American Registry for Internet Numbers, has had to turn down a request for the unique numbers that we assign to each and every smartphone, tablet and PC so they can talk to the Internet. For the first time, ARIN didn’t have enough IP addresses left in its stock to satisfy an entire order — and now, it’s activated the end-times protocol that will see the few remaining addresses out into the night.
The sprawling field hospital that springs up in rural southwest Virginia every summer has been called the largest health-care outreach operation of its kind.
This year, the event will host another first.
Unmanned aerial vehicles — drones — will deliver medicine to the Wise County Fairgrounds in part to study how the emerging technology could be used in humanitarian crises around the world.
My recommended reading list for this summer includes 10 books with very different approaches to innovation. In some cases, these books take you inside the thought process of a top innovator, whether it’s a Silicon Valley entrepreneur (Elon Musk), a Hollywood filmmaker (Brian Grazer) or a Nobel Prize laureate (Alvin E. Roth). In other cases, these books give you insights into the fields and disciplines – such as cybersecurity, space exploration and artificial intelligence — that are shaping the future of global innovation.