These Legit-Looking iPhone Lightning Cables Will Hijack Your Computer – This Week in Tech – 08/11/2019

These Legit-Looking iPhone Lightning Cables Will Hijack Your Computer

I plugged the Apple lightning cable into my iPod and connected it to my Mac, just as I normally would. My iPod started charging, iTunes detected the device, and my iPod produced the pop-up asking if I wanted to trust this computer. All expected behaviour…


Researchers Reveal AI Weaknesses by Developing More Than 1,200 Questions That Are Easy for People to Answer but Stump the Best AI Systems Today

The holy grail of artificial intelligence is a machine that truly understands human language and interprets meaning from complex, nuanced passages. When IBM’s Watson computer beat famed “Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jennings in 2011, it seemed as if that milestone had been met. However, anyone who has tried to have a conversation with virtual assistant Siri knows that computers have a long way to go to truly understand human language. To get better at understanding language, computer systems must train using questions that challenge them and reflect the full complexity of human language…


Teen Security Researcher Suspended for Exposing Vulnerabilities in His School’s Software

Bill Demirkapi, an 11th grader in Lexington, Massachusetts, had found a vulnerability in Aspen, the software his school uses to deliver students’ grades, transcripts, and schedules. With this sort of access, an attacker could obtain a student’s password, their birth city, details on their free or reduced lunch, and other information…


This Expensive Adapter Makes the Nintendo 64 Look Good on Modern TVs

In hindsight, the Nintendo 64 was a pretty weird system. The controller was weird, the decision to go with expensive cartridges was weird, and the internal hardware was in a weird place where early texture filtering was possible even though storing and displaying detailed textures was not. It hasn’t aged well, exactly, but it’s aged interestingly — you can recognize an N64 game a mile away…


Hong Kong Protesters Use Laser Pointers to Deter Police, Scramble Facial Recognition

Hand-held laser pointers, which emit powerful beams of green and blue light, are being used by Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters to confuse police officers, scramble facial recognition cameras and deter people from taking photos amid political turmoil…


A Mexican Physicist Solved a 2,000-Year Old Problem That Will Lead to Cheaper, Sharper Lenses

It’s a problem that plagues even the priciest of lenses, manufactured to the most exacting specifications: the center of the frame might be razor-sharp, but the corners and edges always look a little soft. It’s a problem that’s existed for thousands of years with optical devices, and one that was assumed to be unsolvable until a Mexican physicist developed a mind-melting formula that could revolutionize how lenses are manufactured…


A Crashed Israeli Spacecraft Spilled Tardigrades on the Moon

IT WAS JUST before midnight on April 11 and everyone at the Israel Aerospace Industries mission control center in Yehud, Israel, had their eyes fixed on two large projector screens. On the left screen was a stream of data being sent back to Earth by Beresheet, its lunar lander, which was about to become the first private spacecraft to land on the moon. The right screen featured a crude animation of Beresheet firing its engines as it prepared for a soft landing in the Sea of Serenity. But only seconds before the scheduled landing, the numbers on the left screen stopped. Mission control had lost contact with the spacecraft, and it crashed into the moon shortly thereafter…

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