Technology readings

By Enrique Dans | Relevant technology-related news, curated daily by Enrique Dans (

Countries Are Increasingly Imposing Borders on the Cloud

Amazon may well be one of the companies with the strongest data security in the world. The company has never been responsible for a major, public …


How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You've Ever Met

In real life, in the natural course of conversation, it is not uncommon to talk about a person you may know. You meet someone and say, “I’m from …


Uber Paid Off Hackers to Hide a 57-Million User Data Breach

By now, the name Uber has become practically synonymous with scandal. But this time the company has outdone itself, building a Jenga-style tower of …


AI Can Help Hunt Down Missile Sites in China

Intelligence agencies have a limited number of trained human analysts looking for undeclared nuclear facilities, or secret military sites, hidden …

Machine Learning

The biggest buzzword in Silicon Valley doesn’t make any sense

Algorithms have an inordinate amount of influence on our lives. The predominant ones largely dictate the friends we interact with online, the goods we buy, and the news we see. An algorithm (YouTube’s) even made Justin Bieber happen—and that’s probably the least impressive example.<p>In a society as …

Scientific Research

Tencent becomes the first Chinese tech firm valued over $500B

Tencent has became the first Chinese company to be valued at more than $500 billion.<p>Shares of the 19-year-old company, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, rallied to reach HK$418.80 to give it a market cap of HK$3.99 billion which takes past the $500 billion mark. Close rival Alibaba …


Uber Strikes Deal With Volvo to Bring Self-Driving Cars to Its Network

SAN FRANCISCO — No one knows what the future of self-driving cars will look like, or how long it will take to get there. But every major player in the field is striking partnerships to be ready for the day when autonomous vehicles finally become mainstream.<p>That includes Uber, which on Monday …


Tesla's new electric semi truck could work wonders for cutting greenhouse gas emissions

Tesla unveiled its electric semi truck on Thursday night to much fanfare. The company claims the truck can go 500 miles on a single electric charge, and utilize a "Megacharger" to charge up to 400 miles in only 30 minutes. These are some pretty impressive statistics, and if Tesla is able to …


Tesla shares pop after trucker JB Hunt reserves 'multiple' Tesla Semi tractor trailers

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

Elon Musk

Volkswagen to spend over $40 billion on electric and self-driving cars

WOLFSBURG, Germany (Reuters) - Volkswagen's (VOWG_p.DE) leaders on Friday approved a five-year spending plan that aims to further the German automaker's goal of transforming itself into a leading force in electric cars.<p>Europe's largest carmaker by unit sales will spend more than 34 billion euros …


Inside the First Church of Artificial Intelligence | Backchannel

<b>Anthony Levandowski</b> makes an unlikely prophet. Dressed Silicon Valley-casual in jeans and flanked by a PR rep rather than cloaked acolytes, the …

Artificial Intelligence

This is the Tesla Semi truck

500 miles of range and more aerodynamic than a supercar<p>The Tesla Semi truck is a hulking and menacing hauler, with the presence of Darth Vader lurking from above when cast in the black hue, or more like an apparition in metallic silver-white. In other words: it’s exactly what we expect to see from …


Google updates Assistant with new features and languages

Also, the Nexus Player is back<p>Google has announced a bunch of new updates coming to Assistant today that should make it possible for developers to make more functional applications that better integrate with your Google Assistant devices.<p>One of the biggest additions is support for new languages. …


Airbnb Acquires Accomable In Push To Better Accommodate Travelers With Disabilities

When Accomable first launched in 2015, the press immediately coined it as “Airbnb for disabled people.” The moniker would be prophetic.<p>On Thursday, Airbnb is announcing that it has acquired Accomable as part of an effort to better suit travelers with disabilities on its homesharing platform.<p>Srin …

Sharing Economy

Mashable Sold at Fire-Sale Price of $50 Million to Ziff Davis (Report)

Digital-media firm Mashable has clinched a sale for the company — and it’s not for a price that founder Pete Cashmore or its investor including …

Pete Cashmore

Twitter says it will judge verified users’ offline behavior

What losing a badge really means<p>Twitter’s announcement yesterday that it would begin removing verification badges from some accounts had an immediate impact, as the company stripped the blue checkmark from a handful of accounts associated with the far right. But the announcement, which arrived via …

Jason Kessler

China is perfecting a new method for suppressing dissent on the internet

Now Russia is following China’s blueprint.<p>The art of suppressing dissent has been perfected over the years by authoritarian governments. For most of human history, the solution was simple: force. Punish people severely enough when they step out of line and you deter potential protesters.<p>But in the …


Amazon Sells Hardware to Cloud Partner in China

Amazon Web Services says rule change by Chinese government prompted the sale of its computing equipment<p> Inc. on Tuesday said it has sold computing equipment used for its cloud services in China to its local partner, Beijing Sinnet Technology Co., in a move analysts said underscores the … Inc

'Way too little, way too late': Facebook's fact checkers say effort is failing

Journalists fighting spread of fake news raise concerns over possible conflicts of interest and say site has refused to disclose needed data<p>Journalists working for Facebook say the social media site’s fact-checking tools have largely failed and that the company has exploited their labor for a PR …


Surveillance Cameras Made by China Are Hanging All Over the U.S.

Company 42%-owned by the Chinese government sold devices that monitor U.S. Army base, Memphis streets, sparking concerns about cybersecurity<p>The Memphis police use the surveillance cameras to scan the streets for crime. The U.S. Army uses them to monitor a base in Missouri. Consumer models hang in …


Catalan independence: EU experts detect rise in pro-Kremlin false claims

Officials at fake news debunking East Stratcom unit saw upsurge in false information published in Russian and Spanish about independence referendum<p>The European Union’s counter-propaganda unit has detected an upsurge in pro-Kremlin disinformation and false claims about the political crisis in …

Carles Puigdemont

Airbus will test its Vahana electric ‘flying car’ by the end of 2017

First flight planned for the end of 2017<p>Airbus is making progress on its new electric-powered vertical take-off and landing aircraft — colloquially (and incorrectly) known as a “flying car.” The European aerospace giant posted a series of photos today from its Vahana project, showing its team …


To fight fake news, EU calls on public and experts to help design a strategy

Faced with the tidal wave of fake news and phony propaganda unleashed by social media, the European Union has launched an effort to define the problem and identify strategies to address it.<p>In an announcement today, the EU unveiled a process through which the public can submit comments about their …


How to Make Cars Cooperate

As giant companies race toward self-driving technology, smaller firms are using vehicle to vehicle technology to work toward a more profound — and in some ways opposing — goal.

A plugin to display Trump tweets in crayon font

The Daily Show's Chrome plugin Make Trump Tweets Eight Again uses subtle orthography to remind us about the emotional, intellectual and attentional …

U.S. Presidency

This $150 mask beat Face ID on the iPhone X

It's just a proof of concept at the moment<p>Vietnamese cybersecurity firm Bkav claims it's been able to bypass the iPhone X's Face ID feature using a mask. The mask is made to trick Apple's depth mapping and the result is a kind of creepy hybrid monster head with realistic cutouts for the eyes, nose …

Face ID

Alibaba’s AI Fashion Consultant Helps It Set a New Singles’ Day Record - MIT Technology Review

Alibaba set a new Singles' Day record this Saturday by selling a staggering $25 billion worth of goods. The company also quietly tested a technology …


A Self-Driving Truck Might Deliver Your Next Refrigerator

If you live in Southern California and you’ve ordered one of those fancy new smart refrigerators in the past few weeks, it may have hitched a ride to …


Self-Driving Trucks May Be Closer Than They Appear

Self-Driving Trucks May Be Closer Than They Appear<p>Soy, por naturaleza, una persona muy optimista. Incluso diría que en muchas ocasiones soy demasiado …

Burj Khalifa