Blog Archives

Three ways Facebook could reduce fake news without resorting to censorship

Three ways Facebook could reduce fake news without resorting to censorship

The public gets a lot of its news and information from Facebook. Some of it is fake. That presents a problem for the site’s users, and for the company itself. Facebook cofounder and chairman Mark Zuckerberg said the company will find ways to address the problem, though he didn’t acknowledge its severity. And without apparent […] … learn more→

Science wars in the age of Donald Trump

Science wars in the age of Donald Trump

If Brexit signified the end of facts, what does the election of Donald Trump tell us? Apparently, a new battle in the history of the science wars. But the alleged “end of facts” is the result of a superficial understanding of the deeper crisis in the role of science and expertise. So this new episode […] … learn more→

Get ready for the biggest ‘supermoon’ in nearly six decades

Get ready for the biggest ‘supermoon’ in nearly six decades

The biggest “supermoon” since 1948 will grace the sky on November 14. But what makes it so super? Well, not much more than the fact that it’ll be a bit bigger than normal, but that’s absolutely no reason not to go outside and look at it anyway. If you miss it, you’ll have to wait […] … learn more→

How to ensure smart cities benefit everyone

How to ensure smart cities benefit everyone

This isn’t a vision of life like on “The Jetsons.” It’s real urban communities responding in real-time to changing weather, times of day and citizen needs. These efforts can span entire communities. They can vary from monitoring traffic to keep cars moving efficiently or measuring air quality to warn residents (or turn on massive air […] … learn more→

We need new laws to regulate the world’s newest frontier: the datasphere

We need new laws to regulate the world’s newest frontier: the datasphere

The rise of information technologies – smartphones, sensors spread across public and private spaces, data analytics – has led to the production of considerable amounts of data on human activity and the world around us. The quantity of data has increased exponentially, in parallel with Moore’s law, which predicted in 1965 that computers’ capacity would […] … learn more→

Moving toward computing at the speed of thought

Moving toward computing at the speed of thought

The first computers cost millions of dollars and were locked inside rooms equipped with special electrical circuits and air conditioning. The only people who could use them had been trained to write programs in that specific computer’s language. Today, gesture-based interactions, using multitouch pads and touchscreens, and exploration of virtual 3D spaces allow us to […] … learn more→

Worried your emails might be spied on? Here’s what you can do

Worried your emails might be spied on? Here’s what you can do

We live in a post-Edward Snowden world, in which US tech companies have been accused of complicity in mass surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA). One recent allegation is the claim that Yahoo scanned hundreds of millions of emails at the NSA’s request. We don’t truly know how much or how often this […] … learn more→

Before Nobels: Gifts to and from rich patrons were early science’s currency

Before Nobels: Gifts to and from rich patrons were early science’s currency

While the Nobel Prizes are 115 years old, rewards for scientific achievement have been around much longer. As early as the 17th century, at the very origins of modern experimental science, promoters of science realized the need for some system of recognition and reward that would provide incentive for advances in the field. Before the […] … learn more→

World’s oldest muscle-fibre fossil reveals the origin of legs

World’s oldest muscle-fibre fossil reveals the origin of legs

It looks like a tattered surgical stocking with legs. But this millimetre-long fossil is one of the best preserved animal fossils from the Cambrian period, 500m years ago. With no mineralised hard parts, worms like this would normally rot and decay long before the processes of fossilisation could get to work. But this exceptional one-off […] … learn more→

Teaching the next generation of cybersecurity professionals

Teaching the next generation of cybersecurity professionals

Each morning seems to bring new reports of hacks, privacy breaches, threats to national defense or our critical infrastructure and even shutdowns of hospitals. As the attacks become more sophisticated and more frequently perpetrated by nation-states and criminal syndicates, the shortage of defenders only grows more serious: By 2020, the cybersecurity industry will need 1.5 […] … learn more→