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MIT Tech News

The pandemic is testing the limits of face recognition

5 hours 2 minutes ago
At first glance, JB, an artist based in Los Angeles, perhaps doesn’t look much like the picture on their driver’s license. For one thing, the ID photo is from a few years ago. Hair that was once long and dark is now buzzed and bleached. And there’s the fact that JB is transgender and has…
Mia Sato

Pulling methane out of the atmosphere could slow global warming—if we can figure out how to do it

18 hours 22 minutes ago
Pulling methane out of the atmosphere has the potential to help slow global warming in the next few decades—but researchers are still trying to figure out if it’s really feasible. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, and human activities like natural-gas extraction and agriculture have more than doubled its concentration since the preindustrial era. Removing…
Casey Crownhart

The pandemic problems that boosters won’t solve

1 day 4 hours ago
The US booster program is about to get underway, after the CDC backed additional shots for a large swath of the American public. The agency now recommends that people aged 65 years and older, adults in long-term care, and those over 50 with underlying medical conditions get a third Pfizer-BioNTech shot. (Those whose first shot…
Lindsay Muscato

The US is about to kick-start its controversial covid booster campaign

4 days 4 hours ago
The news: The White House is set to kick off its booster shot campaign today, after Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky overruled her own agency’s advisors in favor of recommending third doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for frontline workers. Who gets it: There are three groups of Americans now eligible for…
Charlotte Jee

2021 has broken the record for zero-day hacking attacks

5 days 4 hours ago
A zero-day exploit—a way to launch a cyberattack via a previously unknown vulnerability—is just about the most valuable thing a hacker can possess. These exploits can carry price tags north of $1 million on the open market. And this year, cybersecurity defenders have caught the highest number ever, according to multiple databases, researchers, and cybersecurity…
Patrick Howell O'Neill

The US is unfairly targeting Chinese scientists over industrial spying, says report

6 days 21 hours ago
For years, civil rights groups have accused the US Department of Justice of racial profiling against scientists of Chinese descent. Today, a new report provides data that may quantify some of their claims.  The study, published by the Committee of 100, an association of prominent Chinese-American civic leaders, found that individuals of Chinese heritage were…
Eileen Guo

How these US schools reopened without sparking a covid outbreak

6 days 22 hours ago
A version of this story was originally published at the COVID-19 Data Dispatch. It’s impossible to overstate how controversial school reopening has become in the US this past year. After a spring of universal Zoom school, opinions diverged: some administrators, parents, and scientists pushed to get kids back in classrooms, while others lobbied for covid…
Betsy Ladyzhets

Securing the energy revolution and IoT future

1 week ago
In early 2021, Americans living on the East Coast got a sharp lesson on the growing importance of cybersecurity in the energy industry. A ransomware attack hit the company that operates the Colonial Pipeline—the major infrastructure artery that carries almost half of all liquid fuels from the Gulf Coast to the eastern United States. Knowing…
Leo Simonovich

How Amazon Ring uses domestic violence to market doorbell cameras

1 week ago
This article was produced in partnership with Type Investigations, where Eileen Guo is an Ida B. Wells Fellow, and is being co-published by MIT Technology Review and Consumer Reports. A few hours before dawn in early May of last year, four police officers were dispatched to an address that they had come to know: the…
Eileen Guo

This AI could predict 10 years of scientific priorities—if we let it

1 week 1 day ago
Every 10 years, US astronomers have to make some tough decisions. Outlined in a plan called the Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics, a set of studies produced by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, these decisions determine the next decade’s scientific priorities for the field.   The Decadal Survey has set the stage for big leaps in space exploration since the early…
Tatyana Woodall

Companies hoping to grow carbon-sucking kelp may be rushing ahead of the science

1 week 2 days ago
In late January, Elon Musk tweeted that he planned to give $100 million to promising carbon removal technologies, stirring the hopes of researchers and entrepreneurs. A few weeks later, Arin Crumley, a filmmaker who went on to develop electric skateboards, announced that a team was forming on Clubhouse, the audio app popular in Silicon Valley,…
James Temple

This US company sold iPhone hacking tools to UAE spies

1 week 5 days ago
When the United Arab Emirates paid over $1.3 million for a powerful and stealthy iPhone hacking tool in 2016, the monarchy’s spies—and the American mercenary hackers they hired—put it to immediate use. The tool exploited a flaw in Apple’s iMessage app to enable hackers to completely take over a victim’s iPhone. It was used against…
Patrick Howell O'Neill

Inspiration4: Why SpaceX’s first all-private mission is a big deal

1 week 6 days ago
When 2001: A Space Odyssey was released in 1968, it didn’t feel like a stretch to dream of lounging in a space hotel, sipping a martini while watching Earth drift by. This vision got a boost in the early 1980s, when the space shuttle program heralded a future of frequent and routine trips to orbit. And when the first…
Jonathan O'Callaghan

Activists are helping Texans get access to abortion pills online

1 week 6 days ago
At the end of August, KT Volkova got an abortion in central Texas, where they live. KT was nearly six weeks pregnant.  “Time was of the essence,” they say. Just a few days later, on September 1, SB8 became law in Texas. SB8 effectively bans abortion in the state by making the procedure illegal when…
Tanya Basu

Why Facebook is using Ray-Ban to stake a claim on our faces

1 week 6 days ago
Last week Facebook released its new $299 “Ray-Ban Stories” glasses. Wearers can use them to record and share images and short videos, listen to music, and take calls. The people who buy these glasses will soon be out in public and private spaces, photographing and recording the rest of us, and using Facebook’s new “View”…
S.A. Applin

How AI simplifies data management for drug discovery

1 week 6 days ago
Calithera Biosciences is a small, Northern California immunotherapy company with a pipeline of drugs in various stages of premarket development for cancer and cystic fibrosis. Like any manufacturer creating complex new products, Calithera keeps track of lots of data. But unlike advanced technology companies in other fields, drug discovery companies have the US Food and…
MIT Technology Review Insights
23 minutes 7 seconds ago
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