Data breaches, widespread malware attacks and microtargeted personalized advertising were lowlights of digital life in 2018. As technologies change, so does the advice security experts give for how to best stay safe. As 2019 begins, I’ve pulled together a short list of suggestions for keeping your digital life secure and free of manipulative disinformation.
Mining corporation Rio Tinto says that an autonomous rail system called AutoHaul that it’s been developing in the remote Pilbara region of Australia for several years is now entirely operational — an accomplishment the company says makes the system the “world’s largest robot.” “It’s been a challenging journey to automate a rail network of this size and scale
A Danish startup called Organic Basics claims its underwear will remain fresh through weeks of wear, eliminating the need for frequent washing. And this could be a boon for the environment – if it’s actually true. When your sweat meets your clothing, it creates an ideal environment for bacteria. It’s this bacteria that actually
Electric car maker Tesla will expand its network of Superchargers to provide service for all of Europe by the end of 2019, CEO Elon Musk tweeted Wednesday. If the plans come to fruition, the vast expansion will represent not just a coup for Tesla but also for the growing global infrastructure that supports practical transportation
Facebook is getting into the crypto business. That’s according to new reporting by Bloomberg. Sources familiar with the project told the business magazine that the social media giant is working to develop a money transfer system for its WhatsApp chat app that uses a stablecoin – a form of blockchain-based cryptocurrency that is pegged to
Get water in your lungs, and you’re in for a very bad time. But when water enters a new type of “lung” created by researchers at Stanford University, the result is hydrogen fuel – a clean source of energy that could one day power everything from our cars to our smartphones. Though this isn’t
Your home is likely a hotbed of toxins, with everything from formaldehyde to chloroform finding its way into the air you breathe daily. It’s common knowledge that houseplants can remove some of those toxins from the air, but not in dramatic amounts. Experts estimate you’d likely need two large houseplants per every 100 square feet
Quantum internet promises ultra-secure, next-generation communications, but is it actually feasible on a global scale? Absolutely, according to a new experiment carried out between satellites in orbit and a station on the ground. The team of scientists was able to exchange several carefully managed photons in pulses of infrared light, carried between Russian GLONASS
It’s not been a great year for Facebook, with security breaches and privacy scandals aplenty, but it turns out many of us still put a high price on the cost of quitting the social network – a price of around $1,000 in fact. In a study in which over a thousand participants were asked
A new nanotech breakthrough comes courtesy of a material you’d likely find in any nursery. A team from MIT has figured out a way to quickly and inexpensively shrink objects to the nanoscale. It calls the process implosion fabrication, and it all starts with polyacrylate — the super-absorbent polymer typically found in baby diapers. Size
A 13-year-old scientist from California has won US$25,000 for inventing a solar-panel system that can determine where the Sun is at any given time. Georgia Hutchinson, from Woodside, California, took the top prize at the Broadcom Masters nationwide STEM competition for middle-school students. She placed first in a pool of 30 finalists, who received
Acoustic levitation – using the pressure generated by sound waves to levitate a single tiny particle – has been around a long time. Manipulating the particle and moving it through space is only a relatively recent development. But now a pair of researchers from Spain and the UK have achieved a huge breakthrough: an
A delivery robot burst into flames at the University of California, Berkeley, and students were said to be so devastated, they held a candlelit vigil to mark its demise. The incident took place on Friday, when a Kiwi delivery robot caught fire after its battery malfunctioned, the company said in a Medium blog on Sunday.
Anybody can win the presidency of the United States. But you really know you’ve broken through when you make it onto the list of the worst passwords people use on the internet. So Donald Trump can feel justifiably smug that ‘donald’ just made its official debut on a list of the 100 most commonly
An initiative called Breakthrough Starshot wants to explore another star system using ultra-powerful laser beams and wafer-thin spaceships. It’s a goal that sounds so fantastic, you’d be forgiven for dismissing it as science fiction. But it’s no joke, and the project’s chief engineer says millions of dollars’ worth of work is moving along without any
When your computer stores data, it has to pause while the information moves from one piece of hardware to another. But that may soon stop being the case, as scientists from MIT and the Singapore University of Technology and Design uncovered a new manufacturing trick that should let them build computers that don’t have those
What internet users Down Under say online will no longer be kept on the down low. On Thursday, Australia’s Parliament passed the Assistance and Access Bill. The legislation will force tech companies to help Australian authorities decrypt users’ online communications — and it could represent a major blow to data privacy elsewhere in the world.
The promise of quantum computing brings with it some mind-blowing potential, but it also carries a new set of risks, scientists are warning. Specifically, the enormous power of the tech could be used to crack the best cyber security we currently have in place. A new report on the “progress and prospects” of quantum