Category Archives: Latest

Could China’s New Coronavirus Become a Global Epidemic?

What began in mid-December as a mysterious cluster of respiratory illnesses in China has now killed at least six people, sickened hundreds more, and spread to five other countries, including the US. On Tuesday, American health officials confirmed the nation’s first case of the novel

Free Press Advocates Decry Cybercrime Charges Against Glenn Greenwald

The Brazilian government is charging journalist Glenn Greenwald with committing cybercrimes, according to a criminal complaint released Monday. The accusations are connected to leaked text messages that Greenwald reported on last year for The Intercept Brasil, which the outspoken journalist launched in 2016 as a

A Handy Chrome Feature, a Sonos Update Warning, and More News

Chrome is protecting and Sonos is disconnecting, but first: a cartoon about the new big screen. Here’s the news you need to know, in two minutes or less. Want to receive this two-minute roundup as an email every weekday? Sign up here! Today’s News Don’t

National Archives Blurs Out Anti-Trump Signs From Photo Of Women’s March

The non-partisan U.S. agency showcased the iconic 2017 march in a heavily altered image, which obscured signs referencing the president and “female anatomy.” Salwan Georges/The Washington Post/Getty ImagesThe original 2017 photo, taken by Mario Tama, shows Pennsylvania Avenue packed with protestors carrying signs critical of

How to Watch Donald Trump’s Impeachment Trial

Impeachment trials are a rarity in the great American experiment: President Donald Trump’s is only the third to take place in over 200 years of US history. If you want to witness this historic event yourself, get ready to hunker down and check your local

Sonos Will Soon End Software Support for Its Older Speakers

Wireless speaker company Sonos has long boasted about making products built to last, despite fast-evolving technology standards that sometimes render connected devices obsolete. Now, the Santa Barbara, California-based device maker has to abandon some of its older products. Four of Sonos’s products are losing software

Maps Are Biased Against Animals

Type Serengeti into Google Maps. The screen immediately zooms in on a large light-green section of northern Tanzania, displaying a few man-made roads and a red border. The birds’-eye-view graphics identify the mile markers, topography, and glamping accommodations of the iconic Serengeti National Park with

Making Public Transit Fairer to Women Demands Way More Data

Transit agencies may feel uneasy about sharing such information. Indeed, media coverage has focused on the inequalities brought to light in LA’s report, rather than the culture change it represents for the agency. “I feel like we have to some degree been punished for collecting

The Macabre Science of Mass Animal Die-Offs

Unfolding right now across swaths of Australia is an ecological catastrophe, as massive, turbo-charged fires reduce whole landscapes to nothingness. Tens of thousands of koalas had no way of escaping. Livestock lie dead in fields. Innumerable animals have perished, with many species likely pushed to

The Tiny Brain Cells That Connect Our Mental and Physical Health

When enlarged under a high-resolution microscope, microglia resemble elegant tree branches with many slender limbs. As they pass by neurons, microglia extend and retract their tiny arm-like protrusions, tapping on each neuron as if to inquire, Are we good here? All okay? Or not okay?—as

Today’s Cartoon: Silver Screens

Tuesday, January 21, 2020. By Pat Byrnes, with With the entertainment startup Quibi, Hollywood bets on a future of quick clips and tiny screens. Monday, January 20, 2020. By Farley Katz, with While we’re asking questions, what are robots? The definition, it turns

AI Can Do Great Things—If It Doesn’t Burn the Planet

Last month, researchers at OpenAI in San Francisco revealed an algorithm capable of learning, through trial and error, how to manipulate the pieces of a Rubik’s Cube using a robotic hand. It was a remarkable research feat, but it required more than 1,000 desktop computers

Angry Nerd: YouTube Can’t Help You

Some call me cheap; I say I’m DIY-enabled. Occasionally I pay for it, like the time my motorcycle nearly combusted after I “fixed” the headlight. Maybe I should have consulted YouTube. Or not. Recently, the voice chat on my Xbox crapped out, so I searched

ASMR and the Soothing Power of Experts

Last summer the candymaker Reese posted a feature-length video on YouTube called Reese the Movie. In a Reese-orange room, five popular YouTubers sit around a Reese-orange table and whisper into their headsets about the pleasures of peanut butter cups. They compare notes on the best

The Blurred Boundaries of Work-From-Home Parenting

It’s 10:50 am when my Apple Watch dings. I lurch unsteadily to my feet. I spent the early part of the morning in a whirlwind, dressing, feeding, and packing my 2- and 4-year-olds off to day care and preschool. Then I returned home, plopped down

Upgrade Your Business Trip With These In-Flight Essentials

Sony WF-1000XM3 With up to eight hours of listening time per charge (and 24 hours of reserve power in the case), these brilliant-sounding buds make great in-flight companions. The noise-canceling system adapts to the environment, adjusting automatically to block out the snore monster in the

Behind the Scenes at Rotten Tomatoes

My second day at Rotten Tomatoes, I went to lunch with some of the site’s editorial staff. These are the front-facing Tomato­people, separate from the curators. They interview movie stars. They schmooze at film festivals. They write hot takes for the site. I asked if,

The Unbearable Softness of Engineered Fabrics

Heebie-jeebies is both the informal and the default technical term for a dysphoric response to an innocent-seeming stimulus. Styrofoam, celery, wicker: Something in these materials represents a sensorial crisis for certain human bodies. The primordial heebie-jeebies—revulsion perceived variously in the spine, the molars, the bristling

Worried About Privacy at Home? There’s an AI for That

Alexa, are you eavesdropping on me? I passive-aggressively ask my Amazon Echo this question every so often. Because as useful as AI has become, it’s also very creepy. It’s usually cloud-based, so it’s often sending snippets of audio—or pictures from devices like “smart” doorbells—out to

Automated Solar Arrays Could Help Incinerate Global Warming

Plenty of days, temperatures in California’s Mojave Desert climb above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. A measly figure. These 400 silvered glass panels, tucked into the western edge of that hot, hot desert, are there to generate heat 15 times that amount. And, ideally, to help cool

Dyson’s New Task Light Is Easy on the Eyes

Dyson Lightcycle Task Light Most modern task lamps consist of little more than a power cord, an LED, and a few strips of metal. But if anyone’s going to over-engineer such a simple object, it’s Dyson. With the Lightcycle, the British company applies the same

All the Cool Kids Are Using Tiny Clackety Keyboards

ZSA Technology Labs Planck EZ Glow The oddly labeled command keys flanking the Planck’s teensy space bar are the real space savers. They provide access to up to 32 different characters or functions per letter key. Plus, the Planck is ortholinear; the keys are aligned