Citizen Isn’t Here to Be Your Free-Speech Platform

Citizen Isn’t Here to Be Your Free-Speech Platform

Welcome to the summer of 2020, where hot dogs, beach balls, and road trips are joined by protests, oximeters, and arguments about section 230(c). And, every week, your Plaintext newsletter. The Plain ViewI have become a Citizen addict. Citizen is an app, currently active in 18 cities, that’s sort of a supercharged police scanner—its home…

A Council of Citizens Should Regulate Algorithms

A Council of Citizens Should Regulate Algorithms

Are machine-learning algorithms biased, wrong, and racist? Let citizens decide. Essentially rule-based structures for making decisions, machine-learning algorithms play an increasingly large role in our lives. They suggest what we should read and watch, whom we should date, and whether or not we are detained while awaiting trial. Their promise is huge–they can better detect…

Researchers Expose a New Vulnerability in Intel’s CPUs

Researchers Expose a New Vulnerability in Intel’s CPUs

For the past two years, modern CPUs—particularly those made by Intel—have been under siege by an unending series of attacks that make it possible for highly skilled attackers to pluck passwords, encryption keys, and other secrets out of silicon-resident memory. On Tuesday, two separate academic teams disclosed two new and distinctive exploits that pierce Intel’s…

The Pandemic Is Propelling a New Wave of Automation

The Pandemic Is Propelling a New Wave of Automation

Last month, the pharma company Takeda began recruiting patients for a clinical trial of a promising Covid-19 treatment involving antibodies drawn from the blood of recovered patients. It normally takes several weeks to collect people’s information, determine who may be suitable for the trial, and get the paperwork in order.With the coronavirus still spreading, Takeda…

When Can I See You Again?

As states and cities lift shelter-in-place restrictions, there’s still so much we don’t know about the coronavirus and how it spreads. Which has left a lot of people wondering: How safe is it, really, to start socializing again? Is wearing a mask a part of our lives for the foreseeable future—and is it possible to…