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Troll farms reached 140 million Americans a month on Facebook before 2020 election, internal report shows

In the run up to the 2020 election, the most highly contested in US history, Facebook’s most popular pages for Christian and Black American content were being run by Eastern European troll farms. These pages were part of a larger network that collectively reached nearly half of all Americans, according to an internal company report, and achieved that...

This US company sold iPhone hacking tools to UAE spies

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 hundreds...

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

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 again when the first paying space tourists rocketed...

Activists are helping Texans get access to abortion pills online

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 a heartbeat is detected, usually around...

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

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” app to sort and upload that...

How AI simplifies data management for drug discovery

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...

Pandemic tech left out public health experts. Here’s why that needs to change.

Exposure notification apps were developed at the start of the pandemic, as technologists raced to help slow the spread of covid. The most common system was developed jointly by Google and Apple, and dozens of apps around the world were built using it—MIT Technology Review spent much of 2020 tracking them. The apps, which run on ordinary smartphones...

A horrifying new AI app swaps women into porn videos with a click

Update: As of September 14, a day after this story published, Y posted a new notice saying it is now unavailable. We will continue to monitor the site for more changes. The website is eye-catching for its simplicity. Against a white backdrop, a giant blue button invites visitors to upload a picture of a face. Below the button, four AI-generated...

There’s a gig-worker-sized hole in Biden’s vaccine mandate plan

The news: President Joe Biden has signed an executive order that will require millions of American workers to get vaccinated against covid-19. The order mandates all companies with more than 100 workers to require employees to be vaccinated or get tested weekly. Employers will have to provide paid time off for employees to get their shots. The order...

A customer-centric approach is key in a post-pandemic world

Quoting Vladimir Lenin, Bill Kanarick describes the tectonic industry shifts brought on by the pandemic: “There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen.” After months of hunkering down at home, consumers got used to online shopping, telehealth doctor’s appointments and contactless and curbside pickup, effectively...

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