At Facebook’s annual developer conference, F8, on Wednesday, the group unveiled what may be Facebook’s most ambitious—and creepiest—proposal yet. Facebook wants to build its own “brain-to-computer interface” that would allow us to send thoughts straight to a computer.
Fingerprint readers, like the TouchID on an iPhone, exist to make your device extra secure while keeping the process of unlocking it easy. Computer scientists at New York University and Michigan State are poised to turn that security benefit on its head. Like a master key that can open any lock, these researchers developed digital “master prints” that could emulate a variety of partial fingerprints enough to hypothetically hack into a device.
On Tuesday, WikiLeaks published thousands of new documents allegedly obtained from the Central Intelligence Agency. And if the documents are legitimate, they prove the U.S. government has taken advantage of common technology to spy on users of consumer electronics. Dubbed “Year Zero,” the trove of data is said to expose the CIA’s hacking tools used to break into phones, computers, and smart TVs. WikiLeaks and announced the leak is the first part of a new series called “Vault 7,” which will be “the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the [CIA].”
We know very little about our planet’s seafloor, but that’s poised to change as autonomous underwater scouting technology gets better and better. To that end, nearly two dozen teams are racing to develop robots that can investigate, map, and conduct science at extreme depths, and under serious time constraints. They’re also competing for $7 million in prize money.
Sometimes, the best telescopes on Earth need a little help making their observations more meaningful. NASA announced yesterday that it had decided to fund the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE, pronounced ix-pee) mission, a polarized X-ray telescope, to help the bigger telescopes explore some of space’s strangest phenomena—including the dead remains of exploded stars and galactic lighthouses called pulsars.
Microsoft has quietly entered into the cannabis business, partnering with a California software company to offer governments a system that tracks marijuana sales and compliance issues.