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MIT Technology Review

A Chinese rocket is falling back to Earth—but we don’t know where it will land

Update 5/9, 12:25 a.m. ET: The US Space Force confirmed the booster landed in the Indian Ocean just north of Maldives late Saturday evening. Last week, China successfully launched Tianhe-1, the first part of its new space station, to be completed before the end of 2022. A week later, the mission is still making huge waves—and…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 4:45 pm

Universal basic income is here—it just looks different from what you expected

Several years ago, when Elizabeth Softky first heard of the concept of universal basic income, she had her doubts. She was a public school teacher at the time, and she knew how hard it was to convince people to support even modest financial benefits, like pay raises for her coworkers. “Giving people money? I couldn’t…

Posted on 7 May 2021 | 10:00 am

AI consumes a lot of energy. Hackers could make it consume more.

The news: A new type of attack could increase the energy consumption of AI systems.  In the same way a denial-of-service attack on the internet seeks to clog up a network and make it unusable, the new attack forces a deep neural network to tie up more computational resources than necessary and slow down its…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 3:42 pm

Why mixing vaccines could help boost immunity

A dozen covid-19 vaccines are now being used around the world. Most require two doses, and health officials have warned against mixing and matching: the vaccines, they argue, should be administered the way they were tested in trials. But after emerging concerns about the very rare risk of blood clots linked to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine,…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 11:47 am

How China turned a prize-winning iPhone hack against the Uyghurs

In March 2017, a group of hackers from China arrived in Vancouver with one goal: Find hidden weak spots inside the world’s most popular technologies.  Google’s Chrome browser, Microsoft’s Windows operating system, and Apple’s iPhones were all in the crosshairs. But no one was breaking the law. These were just some of the people taking…

Posted on 6 May 2021 | 10:00 am

How to stop AI from recognizing your face in selfies

Uploading personal photos to the internet can feel like letting go. Who else will have access to them, what will they do with them—and which machine-learning algorithms will they help train? The company Clearview has already supplied US law enforcement agencies with a facial recognition tool trained on photos of millions of people scraped from…

Posted on 5 May 2021 | 7:13 pm

Why upholding Trump’s Facebook ban won’t break the cycle

The night before the Facebook Oversight Board decided to stand by the company’s decision to ban him from its platforms, former president Donald Trump announced—via an exclusive on Fox News—that he’d created a website. Called From the Desk of Donald Trump, it looked like a social media site but was really just a feed of…

Posted on 5 May 2021 | 3:07 pm

We reviewed three at-home covid tests. The results were mixed.

Over-the-counter home tests for covid-19 are finally here. MIT Technology Review obtained kits sold by three companies and tried them out. After buying tests from CVS and online, I tested myself several times and ended up learning an important lesson: while some people worry that home tests could miss covid cases, the bigger problem may…

Posted on 4 May 2021 | 10:00 am

The internet is excluding Asian-Americans who don’t speak English

Jennifer Xiong spent her summer helping Hmong people in California register to vote in the US presidential election. The Hmong are an ethnic group that come from the mountains of China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand but don’t have a country of their own, and Xiong was a volunteer organizer at Hmong Innovating Politics, or HIP,…

Posted on 4 May 2021 | 9:00 am

Machine-learning project takes aim at disinformation

There’s nothing new about conspiracy theories, disinformation, and untruths in politics. What is new is how quickly malicious actors can spread disinformation when the world is tightly connected across social networks and internet news sites. We can give up on the problem and rely on the platforms themselves to fact-check stories or posts and screen…

Posted on 3 May 2021 | 4:47 pm