This Week in Tech – 2/18/2018: F.C.C. Watchdog Looks Into Changes That Benefited Sinclair

F.C.C. Watchdog Looks Into Changes That Benefited Sinclair

Last April, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, led the charge for his agency to approve rules allowing television broadcasters to greatly increase the number of stations they own. A few weeks later, Sinclair Broadcasting announced a blockbuster $3.9 billion deal to buy Tribune Media — a deal those new rules made possible


A.I. Algorithm Recognizes Terrorist Propaganda with 99 Percent Accuracy

The UK-based company ASI Data Science unveiled a machine learning algorithm Wednesday that can identify terrorist propaganda videos with 99 percent accuracy. This development marks one of the first instances of a company successfully using A.I. to flag extremist propaganda. The Islamic State group is notorious for its social media recruiting efforts, and this algorithm could help curtail them


Humanity’s Biggest Machines Will Be Built in Space

A mile-wide satellite might sound impossible, but that’s exactly where the space industry is headed. In the future, giant telescopes, communication satellites, solar arrays, and space stations will fill the space around the Earth, and many of them will be several times larger than anything ever built on the surface


Facebook Lost Around 2.8 Million U.S. Users Under 25 Last Year. 2018 Won’t Be Much Better

There are likely multiple reasons for the decline. Facebook has been losing its “cool” factor for years, and young people have more options than ever for staying in touch with friends and family. Facebook also serves as a digital record keeper — but many young people don’t seem to care about saving their life online, at least not publicly. That explains why Snapchat and Instagram, which offer features for sharing photos and videos that disappear, are growing in popularity among this demographic


A Russian Troll Factory Had a $1.25 Million Monthly Budget to Interfere in the 2016 US Election

A notorious Russian “troll factory” had a $1.25 million budget in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election to interfere in the US political system, according to charges filed by the Department of Justice. On Friday, special counsel Robert Mueller’s office announced the indictments of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies involved in interference operations targeting the US and the 2016 presidential election


Smartglasses From eSight Are Changing Blind People’s Lives by Enabling Them to See

Every once in a while, we see technology that is unlikely to actually be experienced by most people, but is truly transformative and life-changing for select people. That perfectly describes eSight, a pair of smartglasses that give blind people the ability to see. That’s amazing enough, but the glasses — which look like a cross between PlayStation VR and the Avegant Glyph — are so effective that in some cases the previously blind person may have the best sight in the room when wearing them


D.C. Has Given Elon Musk a Permit to Do a Little Digging for the Hyperloop

It’s not much now, just a parking lot with a discarded gin bottle and an old exterminator receipt. But the slice of pavement near the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in the District could be the gritty precursor to a tunnel network that could propel pods filled with people and speeding platforms topped with Teslas and Toyotas between the nation’s capital and New York in 29 minutes

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