Alex Stamos, Facebook’s Chief Security Officer, Is Reportedly Leaving the Company

Last summer, Facebook’s chief security officer Alex Stamos stood in the middle of a stage in an arena to open the annual hacking conference Black Hat in Las Vegas. Before his entrance, there was loud music and a light show. In the hacking world, no one doubted Stamos deserved it. In the industry he’s considered […]

Trump Signs Executive Order Banning Venezuela’s ‚Petro‘ Cryptocurrency

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday banning American citizens from using the Venezuelan government’s bespoke cryptocurrency, called the Petro. It’s the first time a US president has banned a cryptocurrency. The Petro is Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s attempt to financially boost his country’s struggling economy, and Maduro claimed that digital token sales […]

These Canadians Are Building the First Commercial Electric Snowmobile

A team of engineers in Montreal is building what they call the world’s first all-electric snowmobile, the TS2—a machine that can go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds and travels 100 kilometers (62 miles) on a single charge. It comes at a time when snowmobile bans and strict regulations in national parks and […]

An Australian Cyborg Was Fined for Using His Hand to Pay for the Train

We’ll never know what, exactly, people a century ago thought 2018 was going to look like. Portable telephones? Sure. The downfall of American democracy? Who knows! It seems safe to assume, however, that they never thought it would involve an Australian man who goes by Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow, a defenseless transportation card, and a […]

The Last Rites of Quotient Lorenzo-Lochbaum

Longevity and death are no longer mutually exclusive. A new Y Combinator startup won a sizable government grant for their brain-uploading enterprise, guaranteed “100% fatal.” Who would sign up to live forever, if it meant they had to die first? Years of life remaining are the last great commodity, priceless and non-transferable, and if we […]

Four Alleged Associates of Sinaloa Cartel-Linked Encrypted Phone Company Are On the Run

Last week, Motherboard reported that the FBI had arrested the CEO of Phantom Secure, a company allegedly providing custom, security-focused BlackBerry phones to the Sinaloa drug cartel, among other criminal groups. But the feds aren’t only going after Phantom’s owner: on Thursday, the Department of Justice announced an indictment against other apparent Phantom staff too, […]

This City Just Passed the First Bitcoin Mining Ban in the US

On Thursday evening, the city council in Plattsburgh, New York unanimously voted to impose an 18-month moratorium on Bitcoin mining in the city. Mining is the extremely energy-intensive computational process that secures the Bitcoin blockchain and rewards miners with bitcoins. The Bitcoin moratorium was proposed by Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read earlier this month after local […]

A VR Film About Sex Workers Was Pulled from SXSW After Complaints From Its Leading Actor

Michael Jacobs, the director of a new virtual reality movie that premiered at SXSW Thursday, says that his film aims to give sex workers a voice. But according to its main and only character, real-life sex worker and indie porn director named Liara Roux, the movie, which currently doesn’t credit her at all, includes nudity […]

One Percent of Subreddits Are Responsible for Most of the Raids on Reddit

Merely one percent of 36,000 subreddits are to blame for 74 percent of intergroup conflicts on Reddit. This is according to a new study on Reddit “raids”—organized online spats between subreddits—from a group of Stanford University professors and scholars. The authors sought to shed light on a longstanding question in computer science, which asks how […]

‚#WarGames,‘ the Interactive Reimagining of the Iconic Nuclear Thriller, Is Mostly a Gimmick

WarGames is a classic film about video games and global thermonuclear war. Matthew Broderick stars as a brilliant teenaged hacker who has to convince an artificial intelligence running NORAD that nukes aren’t fun. He learns to use hacking for good and that sometimes the only way to win is not to play. #WarGames is a […]

Reddit Has Been Quietly Banning Cryptocurrency Ads Since 2016

On Wednesday, Google—which operates one of the largest ad networks in the world—joined advertising giant Facebook in banning ads for cryptocurrencies. It might seem like these companies are ahead of the curve in setting best practices around marketing an emerging technology, but Reddit beat them to the punch years ago. The site just didn’t make […]

Everything You Need to Know About the Congressional Cryptocurrency Hearing

Cryptocurrencies: Suited-up dudes at the bar won’t stop talking about them and neither will Congress. During a Wednesday morning Financial Services Committee hearing focusing on cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (scam-prone crowdfunding campaigns where investors purchase digital tokens from a startup), lawmakers peppered experts and industry insiders—including Coinbase chief legal and risk officer Mike Lempres—with […]

The ‚Badass Army‘ is Training Revenge Porn Victims to Fight Back

Revenge porn is typically a one-sided fight. Often anonymously, and with relative impunity, offenders are able to upload intimate images of others while dodging prosecution or perhaps any sort of recourse. An activist group called the Badass Army, made up of hundreds of revenge porn victims, is changing that. After one victim decided to offer […]

Stephen Hawking Has Died at 76

Stephen Hawking, one of the most well-known scientists of all time, died early Wednesday morning at his home in Cambridge, England, according to his family. He was 76. Hawking was known for his work in theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics as well as for his penchant for making bets with other scientists, predictions about […]

The Congressional Black Caucus Is Asking Silicon Valley Why It’s So White

Silicon Valley is being asked to reckon with diversity issues by the Congressional Black Caucus. The political organization sent a letter to technology and telecommunications lobbying groups last month, amid ongoing debates over equality in these industries. “We write today to express our concerns with the diversity recruitment efforts of the member companies within your […]

The International Monetary Fund Has a Dystopian Vision for the Blockchain

The International Monetary Fund is an ideological enemy to Bitcoin and decentralized virtual currencies in general. The Washington, DC-based organization centrally controls a global system of payments and loans, often given to struggling nations on the condition that they impose strict austerity. Now, the IMF wants to use the same technology behind Bitcoin to regulate […]

Tim Berners-Lee: Monopolies and Lack of Public Infrastructure Are Ruining the Web

It’s easy to complain about the insidious hellscape that is modern life online—I do it daily. But it’s also good to appreciate what a technological wonder the World Wide Web really is, and realize how impactful a lack of access to the web can be. March 12 is the web’s birthday: it was first proposed […]

Now That ‚Vermintide 2‘ Is Here, ‚Left 4 Dead 3‘ Can Wait

In 2008, developer Valve published Left 4 Dead, a cooperative multiplayer game where groups of four players moved through post-apocalyptic cities, fending off hordes of zombies controlled by an „AI director.“ There were only half a dozen maps, but the AI switched up where and what kind of enemies appeared at different times to heighten […]

Feds Bust CEO Allegedly Selling Custom BlackBerry Phones to Sinaloa Drug Cartel

For years, a slew of shadowy companies have sold so-called encrypted phones, custom BlackBerry or Android devices that sometimes have the camera and microphone removed and only send secure messages through private networks. Several of those firms allegedly cater primarily for criminal organizations. Now, the FBI has arrested the owner of one of the most […]

YouTube Is Full of Easy-to-Find Neo-Nazi Propaganda

“Where will you be when the race war begins?” the propaganda for Atomwaffen Division, an American neo-Nazi group linked to several murders in the US, says. “Join your local Nazis.” The phrases were included in a video that YouTube removed along with the rest of Atomwaffen’s channel last month. But that removal was closer to […]

Google Is Back In Canadian Court to Fight Global Search Censorship

Google made its case in court this week against Canadian courts having the ability to order the internet search giant to block search results worldwide. Google’s lawyer—who appeared in a British Columbia court earlier this week—was armed with a recent California ruling that said one country’s judges deciding what the rest of the world sees […]

Federal Judge Tells Trump to Just Mute People on Twitter

A federal judge has discouraged President Trump from blocking Twitter users, and encouraged him to simply mute his online dissenters. The recommendation came today from Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, in response to a First Amendment lawsuit, filed in July 2017 by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, and seven people who Trump has […]

Researchers Can ‘See’ Your Memories While You Sleep

Everybody needs to sleep, even if researchers aren’t entirely sure why. One of the leading theories suggests sleep plays a critical role in the consolidation of memory, but characterizing this process has been difficult. The basic idea is that a sleeping brain reactivates the same neural pathways that were activated when the memory was first […]

The Right to Repair Battle Has Come to Silicon Valley

The right to repair battle has come to Silicon Valley’s home state: Wednesday, a state assemblymember announced that California would become the 18th state in the country to consider legislation that would make it easier to repair your electronics. “The Right to Repair Act will provide consumers with the freedom to have their electronic products […]

‘Deep Voice’ Software Can Clone Anyone’s Voice With Just 3.7 Seconds of Audio

With just 3.7 seconds of audio, a new AI algorithm developed by Chinese tech giant Baidu can clone a pretty believable fake voice. Much like the rapid development of machine learning software that democratized the creation of fake videos, this research shows why it’s getting harder to believe any piece of media on the internet. […]

We Made Better Versions of the New ‚Ready Player One‘ Posters

Steven Spielberg’s upcoming Ready Player One is a movie based on a book that’s essentially an exhaustive string of video game, movie, and television references. To promote the movie, Spielberg’s marketing team created a slew of movie posters that are homages to posters of famous movies past, like The Matrix, Blade Runner, and Bullitt. Here’s […]

Watch a Man Swim Through an Ocean of Trash Off the Coast of Bali

On March 3, YouTube user cheeseandjamsandwich posted a two and a half minute video of himself swimming through an ocean of plastic. Every frame has some scrap of plastic, dotted with some brief sightings of the reef fish, jellyfish, and a lone manta ray who have to live in a plastic mess. The video claims […]

Check Out These Amazing Sculptures Made From 4,000 Pounds of Old Electronics

Every day, over 100,000 computers are trashed in the United States. It’s an astounding number, and will likely keep growing. According to a report released last December by the United Nations University and the International Telecommunication Union, electronic waste is the fastest growing part of the domestic waste stream in the world. According to the […]

You Can Use a Weed Grow Tent to Cool Your Bitcoin Mining Rig

Mining Bitcoin is a hot business. Literally. Miners earn cryptocurrency by using graphics processing units to run complicated math equations that help secure the cryptocurrency’s blockchain. Running a GPU that hard and that long heats up the machine and when it gets hot, it can perform poorly or even break. The problem gets worse when […]

YouTube Says It Has No Plans to Ban Alex Jones

Late Saturday, the host of the popular conspiracy theory show Infowars Alex Jones tweeted that his YouTube will be deleted tomorrow: According to YouTube, that is not the case. The company told us in an email it currently has no plans to terminate the channel. Jones claimed that YouTube would delete his channel, which currently […]

From SpankChain to Bigboobscoin, Startups Keep Trying to Get People to Pay for Sex on the Blockchain

Sex work has long been plagued by issues surrounding privacy, payments, and security for workers and clients. How many cryptocurrency startups with “tit” in the name will it take to solve them? I aimed to find out. From SpankChain to TittieCoin, over a dozen aptly-named digital coins are angling to turn your hard-gambled cryptocurrency into […]

How to Ditch the News Feed Algorithm and Take Back Facebook

As Facebook’s role in the downfall of American democracy, media, and discourse is fiercely debated, many people have suggested: Why not just delete Facebook? The truth is that there are many reasons why someone might want to keep their Facebook: A decade of photos and memories, research for work, blog post promotion (hello), getting invited […]

Watch This Filmmaker Work Six Projectors at Once to Make Incredibly Trippy Art

When the science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, I imagine he meant that as devices become more capable their inner processes become invisible. What he forgot to mention was that the more “magical” technology seems, the less impressive it is. That my phone can tell […]

A $5 Billion Cryptocurrency Has Enraged Cryptographers

Nerd fights are the the background radiation of the cryptocurrency universe, but occasionally a beef becomes so acrimonious that it bubbles over in public. A recent spat between famous cryptographers and a digital currency called IOTA was one such beef. For example, security researcher Nicholas Weaver from UC Berkeley wrote that the IOTA team were […]

Putin Demonstrates New Missiles With Visualization of Nukes Hitting Mar-a-Lago

With less than a month to go before a presidential election, Russian President Vladimir Putin stood before his country’s Federal Assembly and said the military had developed new nuclear weapons capable surpassing American defenses and that the public could enter a contest to name them. The speech is an annual tradition similar to the US […]

Elon Musk’s Bacteria-Covered Space Car May Be a ‚Biothreat‘

Earlier this month, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk launched his personal Tesla into space on top of the most powerful rocket in the world. At first glance, it would appear that the car was launched without any passengers aside from an empty space suit Musk dubbed ‘Starman.’ But Jay Melosh, a professor of Earth and planetary […]

Let’s Rock: David Lynch Teaches Typing in This New Game

Do you have five minutes? Then master writer-director David Lynch can teach you how to type. Developer Rhino Stew has just unleashed an excellent parody of Lynch’s work in the form of an early 1990s style typing program. David Lynch Teaches Typing isn’t an official Lynch production, but if the weird auteur taught typing, this […]

Anti-Defamation League: YouTube Should Delete Neo-Nazi Videos ‚Immediately‘

Monday, YouTube told The Daily Beast that the company would not block a couple of accounts belonging to Atomwaffen Division, a neo-Nazi organization associated with several recent murders that the nonprofit publication ProPublica called „one of the country’s most notorious extremist groups.” One YouTube video titled „Zealous Operation“ showed masked members of the group yelling […]

Democrats Officially Introduce Bills to Restore Net Neutrality

Standing in the sunshine outside the Capitol, Democratic Congressional leaders bantered, laughed, and made impassioned speeches Tuesday after formally introducing two bills to restore net neutrality. “This is a road to digital serfdom and we are going to block it,” said Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) during the rally. “We intend to keep fighting until real […]