This Week in Tech

This Week in Tech – 1/7/2018

Netflix Comes Out in Support for Net Neutrality, Tells FCC ‘We Will See You in Court’

Netflix isn’t letting net neutrality go without a fight. The streaming giant retweeted its support for the Internet Association’s Friday announcement it would “intervene in judicial action to preserve net neutrality protections.” The IA plans on pushing back against the FCC’s decision last month to pull back Obama-era regulations that blocked internet providers from blocking access to particular sites, as well as creating paid “fast lanes” to view content

Intel Was Aware of the Chip Vulnerability When Its CEO Sold Off $24 Million in Company Stock

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich sold off a large portion of his stake in the company months after Google had informed the chipmaker of a significant security vulnerability in its flagship PC processors — but before the problem was publicly known. The vulnerability, which affects processors from Intel, AMD, and ARM and could allow malicious actors to steal passwords and other secret data, became public this week. The disclosure has left processor makers and operating-system vendors including Intel and Microsoft scrambling to get on top of the story and patch their products

After Equifax Breach, Anger but No Action in Congress

The massive Equifax data breach, which compromised the identities of more than 145 million Americans, prompted a telling response from Congress: It did nothing. Some industry leaders and lawmakers thought September’s revelation of the massive intrusion — which took place months after the credit reporting agency failed to act on a warning from the Homeland Security Department — might be the long-envisioned incident that prompted Congress to finally fix the country’s confusing and ineffectual data security laws

Big Money Is Backing Out of Fossil Fuel Industry, Moving Into Greener Alternatives

Today, as the Trump administration continues to bolster the fossil fuel industry — loosening regulations and giving large tax breaks to fossil fuel companies — environmentalist Bill McKibben says that it would be wise to follow the dollar to see where the future of energy is headed, globally. “Right now, of course, politics is making it difficult to deal with climate change in DC, but it’s not stopping cold all the work that’s going on,” says McKibben, co-founder of

New Bill Could Finally Get Rid of Paperless Voting Machines

A bipartisan group of six senators has introduced legislation that would take a huge step toward securing elections in the United States. Called the Secure Elections Act, the bill aims to eliminate insecure paperless voting machines from American elections while promoting routine audits that would dramatically reduce the danger of interference from foreign governments. The legislation comes on the heels of the contentious 2016 election. Post-election investigation hasn’t turned up any evidence that foreign governments actually altered any votes. However, we do know that Russians were probing American voting systems ahead of the 2016 election, laying groundwork for what could have become a direct attack on American democracy

Ground-Breaking Lens Opens New Possibilities in Virtual and Augmented Reality

Metalenses — flat surfaces that use nanostructures to focus light — promise to revolutionize optics by replacing the bulky, curved lenses currently used in optical devices with a simple, flat surface. But, these metalenses have remained limited in the spectrum of light they can focus well. Now a team of researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has developed the first single lens that can focus the entire visible spectrum of light — including white light — in the same spot and in high resolution. This has only ever been achieved in conventional lenses by stacking multiple lenses

NSA’s Top Talent Is Leaving Because of Low Pay, Slumping Morale and Unpopular Reorganization

The National Security Agency is losing its top talent at a worrisome rate as highly skilled personnel, some disillusioned with the spy service’s leadership and an unpopular reorganization, take higher-paying, more flexible jobs in the private sector. Since 2015, the NSA has lost several hundred hackers, engineers and data scientists, according to current and former U.S. officials with knowledge of the matter. The potential impact on national security is significant, they said