Alina Selyukh | KERA News

Alina Selyukh

The FCC has unveiled a proposal that would restrict Internet providers' ability to share the information they collect about what their customers do online with advertisers and other third parties.

Editor's note: Ray Tomlinson, who has been credited with propelling email toward becoming the familiar daily regularity we now know, has died at age 74.

FBI Director James Comey says encryption is making phones "warrantproof" — and the agency's dispute with Apple over an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters shows the challenges encryption poses in criminal and counterterrorism investigations.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is scolding employees for what he calls "several recent instances" of people crossing out "black lives matter" on signature walls at the company's headquarters and writing "all lives matter" instead.

The Department of Justice has filed a motion to compel Apple to cooperate with a government investigation and help access data on an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino assailants.

The motion filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (read it in full below) lays out the government's legal case for why Apple should provide technical assistance.

In a few days, Apple will formulate its formal response to the federal judge's order seeking the company's help for the FBI to get inside a phone used by Syed Farook, one of the attackers in the San Bernardino, Calif., shootings.

Remember the cryptex, the little handheld safe from The Da Vinci Code where entering the correct combination will reveal the secret message and entering the wrong one will destroy it?

Now replace the little safe with an iPhone, and instead of a secret message, it's holding evidence in a terrorism case. The critical combination? It's a passcode — one the FBI doesn't know, and one that Apple is reluctant to help the agency figure out.

It was a rumor that had many Twitter old-timers up in arms: Twitter is changing its signature structure of real-time posts in reverse chronological order.

It's true. The company now says it's got a new algorithm to predict which tweets you might not want to miss. Those selected tweets, minutes or hours old, will display at the top when you log in after an absence. The rest of the tweets below will remain in real-time and reverse chronology.

Can a kid succeed in school with only a mobile device for Internet access at home?

Lorena Uribe doesn't have to think about that one:

"Absolutely not," she says.

When her old computer broke down several years ago, she and her teenage daughter found themselves in a bind for about five months: homework to do and no computer or broadband access at home.

"I would take her to the mall and have her sit in Panera so she could use the Wi-Fi on her iPad from school," Uribe says.

Tech companies and privacy advocates have been in a stalemate with government officials over how encrypted communication affects the ability of federal investigators to monitor terrorists and other criminals. A new study by Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society convened experts from all sides to put the issue in context.

The notion of a gun smart enough to tell who's holding it isn't new.

Since the 1990s, inventors have been developing firearms geared with technologies that can authenticate their users — for instance by recognizing the fingerprint, the grip or an RFID chip — and stop working if held by the wrong hands.

After years of debate, cybersecurity legislation may pass this week, tucked inside the trillion-dollar federal spending bill.

The House and the Senate both have passed competing versions of cybersecurity legislation and pressed to negotiate a version they could pass before the end of the year. It's now part of the massive appropriations package, toward the end of the latest amended draft, which is expected to go up for vote later this week.

Is a drone a toy or a (tiny) airplane?

To the Department of Transportation, the question is far from complicated.

"Unmanned aircraft operators are aviators and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said on Monday while unveiling new drone registration rules.

In the words of Wired magazine, it's "one of the most stubborn mysteries of the 21st century": Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?

Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym used to refer to the creator of bitcoin, which is the digital currency that has taken the financial world by storm.

Remember net neutrality?

Right, it's that brain-flexing term that refers to the idea that phone and cable companies should treat all of the traffic on their networks equally. No blocking or slowing their competitors, and no fast lanes for companies that can pay more.

In fact, the term itself was so nerdy that it's been "re-branded" as Open Internet.

For the first time in history, federal researchers report that a majority of U.S. homes rely on cellphones alone for a telephone connection, without a landline.

The number of cellphone-only households predictably has been climbing over the years, surpassing the households with both a landline and a mobile phone and now reaching almost 51 percent. And it's tracked by — of all agencies — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

You couldn't look anywhere on Facebook without seeing it: friends, celebrities and complete strangers dumping buckets of ice water to raise awareness of ALS, a neurodegenerative illness also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

The 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge ended up raising more than $115 million for ALS research and reached an unprecedented bar for a charity social media campaign — unprecedented and inimitable.

The Consumer Technology Association forecasts that 400,000 drones will be sold in the United States this holiday season. That's not to mention the commercial drones being developed by Google (now known as Alphabet), Amazon, Wal-Mart and others.

How do terrorists communicate to hide from investigators?

We know little about the means used by those involved in the deadly attacks in Paris, but intelligence and security officials have already launched a new wave of chatter about encryption.

If you live in an apartment building or another densely populated area and your Wi-Fi is slow, your neighbors bingeing on Netflix may be to blame.

Your and your neighbors' Wi-Fi networks have a limited number of wireless frequency channels to move your data. And when things get crowded and busy, Wi-Fi networks can overlap and bump into each other and slow down your Internet connection.

 

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET Nov. 11 to include information from the credit reporting companies and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

In December 1912, financier John Pierpont "J.P." Morgan testified in Washington before the Bank and Currency Committee of the House of Representatives investigating Wall Street's workings of the time.

It's been about a year since Google (now known as Alphabet) first introduced its drone-delivery system known as Project Wing. The project now seems to have a timeline to become reality: 2017.

Reuters is reporting from an air traffic control convention:

On a recent walk to work, a weird thing whizzed by. It looked like a regular kid scooter but fancied up with a motor and, impressively, a seat. It carried a woman, a child in her lap, and a book bag.

Uber has shaken up what it takes to get from point A to point B in cities across the country with a simple premise: If you need a ride, a driver nearby could pick you up within minutes.

Behind that idea is an algorithm, which promises to keep supply and demand in constant balance, encouraging drivers toward busy areas and tempering customer requests by increasing the price of each ride. It's called surge pricing.

IBM's big-data ambitions have been well-known for years, thanks to the high-profile Watson computer that's been delving into all kinds of industries.

The latest is weather.

It's an obscure provision of a relatively obscure law, overseen, rather unpredictably, by the Librarian of Congress.

A section in the country's copyright law known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act prohibits unlocking of "access controls" (in simpler terms, breaking digital locks to dig around computer code) on various software.

In the tense relationship between Russia and the United States, the latest salvo comes via The New York Times: According to American military and intelligence officials, Russian submarines and spy ships are "aggressively operating" near submarine cables that carry Internet communications, raising concerns of a potential attack "in times of tension or conflict."

When it comes to anti-bullying campaigns, Kortney Peagram has seen many: Wear this bracelet if you're not a bully, respond to something mean with something nice. They come and go like fads, she says:

"These awareness campaigns, if it's cheesy, they won't use it."

Peagram is a psychologist who works with more than 30 schools in Illinois to help teachers and students deal with bullying and confrontational behavior — in other words, what most kids would call drama.

Much of it is now online, where mercurial, youthful emotions fly at double-speed.

The future is, literally, now, at least in the Back to the Future universe: Oct. 21, 2015.

The sequel of the 1985 classic has time-traveling Marty McFly ogling at all kinds of cool things that the creators imagined we'd have by now.

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