The Iowa Caucus Tech Meltdown Is a Warning

The Iowa Caucus Tech Meltdown Is a Warning

After months of buildup, Monday’s Iowa Caucus kicked off the 2020 primary elections—and it didn’t go great. Reporting of results was delayed by what Iowa democratic officials first called “quality control” efforts. In fact, a new, unvetted mobile app designed to help collect and relay voting tallies had failed due to technical and usability issues.…

The End of the BlackBerry Is Officially Upon Us

The End of the BlackBerry Is Officially Upon Us

BlackBerry is quitting the phone business—again. You might recall BlackBerry quit manufacturing smartphones back in 2016, but it licensed its brand name to the Chinese smartphone corporation TCL. TCL started pumping out BlackBerry-branded devices—some of which were QWERTY equipped and some of which were shameless rebadgings of existing TCL phones. TCL’s Zombie BlackBerry plan apparently…

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity, the Condition so Controversial Doctors Won’t Diagnose It

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity, the Condition so Controversial Doctors Won’t Diagnose It

Last February, the Senate held a committee hearing on the future of 5G wireless technology. Amid fulsome praise of the technology’s potential—five times faster internet speeds!—Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut introduced a note of caution. “5G, as you well know, uses higher-frequency waves that don’t travel as far and rely on a network of hundreds…

This Identity Activist Wants to Make Facebook Obsolete

This Identity Activist Wants to Make Facebook Obsolete

Kaliya Young doesn’t want to break up Facebook. She wants to make it obsolete.She was an Olympic-level water polo player for Canada, but in 2002 was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Freshly graduated from university and living in the San Francisco Bay Area, she went through months of radiation and chemotherapy that sapped her physical strength.…

America Needs a Ministry of Truth

America Needs a Ministry of Truth

Life in a nightmarish dystopia isn’t all bad. For Winston Smith, the tragic everyman of George Orwell’s 1984, the “greatest pleasure in life” is his work at the Ministry of Truth, where lies are manufactured and truths tossed down memory holes. To help “correct” the historical record, Winston takes pride in inventing fake statistics, fake…

This Cloth Destroys Deadly Nerve Agents in Minutes

This Cloth Destroys Deadly Nerve Agents in Minutes

In Omar Farha’s lab at Northwestern University, the chemist and his team are working on an unusual craft project in collaboration with the United States Army. They mix powders and liquids into a paint-like consistency, dip swatches of cotton fabric into the liquid, and then leave the beige cloth out to dry. Through this process,…

Amid Coronavirus Fears, a Mask Shortage Could Spread Globally

Amid Coronavirus Fears, a Mask Shortage Could Spread Globally

It’s been less than two weeks since the Chinese government quarantined 35 million people in the city of Wuhan and surrounding regions to control the fast-spreading coronavirus, but the images coming from there already have a grim familiarity: empty shops and streets, long queues at hospitals, and on every face, a surgical mask covering everything…

Who Should Control the Internet’s.Org Addresses?

Who Should Control the Internet’s.Org Addresses?

For decades, .org domain names have been the home for nonprofit organizations on the internet. Groups including the Red Cross, the Sierra Club, and the Heritage Foundation use them, as do many smaller, less well-known organizations. Now, the nonprofit organization in charge of .org domains could be sold to a for-profit company in a $1.1…

Mysterious New Ransomware Targets Industrial Control Systems

Mysterious New Ransomware Targets Industrial Control Systems

Only a few times in the history of hacking has a piece of malicious code been spotted attempting to meddle directly with industrial control systems, the computers that bridge the gap between digital and physical systems. Those rare specimens of malware have destroyed nuclear enrichment centrifuges in Iran and caused a blackout in Ukraine. Now,…