Trump’s TikTok Circus Will Have Lasting Consequences

It’s been one hell of a week for TikTok. The company is scrambling to get the White House to approve a deal it struck with Oracle, designed to alleviate national security concerns the US government raised about TikTok’s Chinese ownership. While the company waits to see whether President Trump will accept the arrangement, the clock […]

Companies Can Track Your Phone’s Movements to Target Ads

Google and Apple have taken steps this year they say will help users shield themselves from hundreds of companies that compile profiles based on online behavior. Meanwhile, other companies are devising new ways to probe more deeply into other aspects of our lives. In January, Google said it would phase out third-party cookies on its […]

YouTube’s Plot to Silence Conspiracy Theories

In January 2019, YouTube began rolling out the system. That’s when Mark Sargent noticed his flat-earth views take a nose dive. Other types of content were getting down-ranked, too, like moon-landing conspiracies or videos perseverating on chemtrails. Over the next few months, Goodrow and Rohe pushed out more than 30 refinements to the system that […]

Why Wasn’t Uber Charged in a Fatal Self-Driving Car Crash?

The safety driver behind the wheel of a self-driving Uber that struck and killed a woman in 2018 has been charged with a crime. Prosecutors in Maricopa County, Arizona, Tuesday said the driver, Rafaela Vasquez, has been indicted for criminal negligence. But Uber, her employer and the company that built the automated system involved in […]

WIRED25: Netflix’s Reed Hastings on Broadening Your Horizons

Thanks to Covid-19, the mantra for 2020 has got to be “quarantine and chill.” Good thing Netflix is here to “entertain people all over the world,” as the company’s cofounder Reed Hastings explained at this year’s WIRED25. Sating the global entertainment palate, though, requires an undying spirit of invention as well as narratives that span […]

A Utah Company Claims It Invented Contact Tracing Tech

In the fight against Covid-19, contact tracing apps have so far largely been disappointments— in the United States, at least. Proposed in the spring as a way to help quickly stifle viral outbreaks by tracking down potential exposures using smartphones, they were stunted by technical glitches, concerns over privacy, and the US’s fragmented, haphazard pandemic […]

How an Epic Series of Tech Errors Hobbled Miami’s Schools

The teachers received demo logins to try out the platform, but they didn’t work, and even the trainers struggled to access it, West says. From 8 am until 3:30 pm each day, teachers took notes without once trying the software themselves. “The training was make-believe, it was so, so complex,” says one teacher. “Even our […]

FedEx Will Track Your Packages More Precisely Than Ever

Are you obsessed with tracking your packages online? You’re not alone. The barcode on a typical package is scanned 10 to 20 times during its journey to your door. Shipping companies often upload the detailed info to their websites because, well, people want it. Plus, publishing the data doesn’t cost anything, says Satish Jindel, a […]