Technology

Civil unrest: How a blockchain-based journalism startup bumbled its launch

Enlarge / Civil CEO Matthew Iles, as seen in this promo video. (credit: Freethink / YouTube) In March 2018, Matthew Iles—the head of Civil, an ambitious blockchain-for-journalism startup—stood in a tiny New York conference room with a few colleagues seated around him. Wearing a peach-colored sweater, Iles looked up at a mounted camera to speak …

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Douglas Adams was right: “Genuine people personalities” are coming to our gadgets

I remember the first time I read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It was back in junior high, around 1982, before I knew about the radio series. I got to the part where the automatic door talks to Arthur Dent, and I remember very clearly thinking: “This is ridiculous. Why would an automatic door need …

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Try your hand at being an operator at the Roseville Telephone Museum

Enlarge / An early 1910-era magneto telephone. (credit: Cyrus Farivar) ROSEVILLE, Calif.—I don’t know about you, but I marvel that, with a tiny device in my pocket, I can instantly hear the voice of any of my loved ones, any time, essentially for free. Of course, this wasn’t always the case. I’m old enough (nearly …

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Review: The June oven made me want a camera in every cooking device

Enlarge (credit: June Oven) When my husband and I received a flashy, $250 Breville toaster oven for our wedding in 2014, we couldn’t believe how awesome it was. It revolutionized the two-person meal in our household. We were freed from using the geriatric, unreliable oven that came with our apartment, and cookies, pizzas, and baked …

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Tesla’s SolarCity lost ground to Sunrun in 2018

Enlarge (credit: Jon Callas / Flickr) The first three quarters of 2018 show that Sunrun’s residential solar panel sales have outpaced SolarCity’s residential solar panel sales, according to data from analysis firm Wood Mackenzie. Though Tesla, the owner of SolarCity, has been losing ground in the solar panel market-share game for years now, Sunrun’s new …

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Pokémon Go creators launch AR-game contest that (nearly) resembles American Idol

Enlarge (credit: Niantic) How could Niantic, the leading developers of Pokémon Go, possibly top its augmented-reality (AR) gaming sensation? Today’s announcement from the studio hints at its future strategy: find someone else to do it. The Niantic Beyond Reality Developer Contest talks up a prize pool of more than $1 million, but the real meat …

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Four months after its debut, sneaky Mac malware went undetected by AV providers

Enlarge / A screenshot of VirusTotal showing only two AV providers detected malware, four weeks after it was outed. (credit: Patrick Wardle) Four months after a mysterious group was outed for a digital espionage operation that used novel techniques to target Mac users, its macOS malware samples continued to go undetected by most antivirus providers, …

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Logitech disables local access on Harmony Hubs, breaks automation systems [Update]

Enlarge (credit: Logitech) Update, Dec 21, 2:47pm: In response to customers’ frustration, Logitech issued another statement today with instructions on how to enable private local API controls. The company created a new XMPP beta program that will give users access to the local controls that were removed in the most recent Harmony Hub firmware update. …

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ACLU to feds: Your “hacking presents a unique threat to individual privacy”

Enlarge (credit: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images) The American Civil Liberties Union, along with Privacy International, a similar organization based in the United Kingdom, have now sued 11 federal agencies, demanding records about how those agencies engage in what is often called “lawful hacking.” The activist groups filed Freedom of Information Act requests to the …

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