Technology

Can a Tech Giant Be Woke?
Technology

Can a Tech Giant Be Woke?

The December day in 2021 that set off a revolution across the videogame industry appeared to start innocuously enough. Managers at a Wisconsin studio called Raven began meeting one by one with quality assurance testers, who vet video games for bugs, to announce that the company was overhauling their department. Going forward, managers said, the lucky testers would be permanent employees, not temps. They would earn an extra $1.50 an hour.It was only later in the morning, a Friday, that the catch became apparent: One-third of the studio’s roughly 35 testers were being let go as part of the overhaul. The workers were stunned. Raven was owned by Activision Blizzard, one of the industry’s largest companies, and there appeared to be plenty of work to go around. Several testers had just worked la...
A Marketplace of Girl Influencers Managed by Moms and Stalked by Men
Technology

A Marketplace of Girl Influencers Managed by Moms and Stalked by Men

The ominous messages began arriving in Elissa’s inbox early last year.“You sell pics of your underage daughter to pedophiles,” read one. “You’re such a naughty sick mom, you’re just as sick as us pedophiles,” read another. “I will make your life hell for you and your daughter.”Elissa has been running her daughter’s Instagram account since 2020, when the girl was 11 and too young to have her own. Photos show a bright, bubbly girl modeling evening dresses, high-end workout gear and dance leotards. She has more than 100,000 followers, some so enthusiastic about her posts that they pay $9.99 a month for more photos.Over the years, Elissa has fielded all kinds of criticism and knows full well that some people think she is exploiting her daughter. She has even gotten used to receiving creepy mes...
Nvidia Earnings Show Soaring Profit and Revenue Amid AI Boom
Technology

Nvidia Earnings Show Soaring Profit and Revenue Amid AI Boom

Nvidia, the kingpin of chips powering artificial intelligence, on Wednesday released quarterly financial results that reinforced how the company has become one of the biggest winners of the artificial intelligence boom, and it said demand for its products would fuel continued sales growth.The Silicon Valley chip maker has been on an extraordinary rise over the past 18 months, driven by demand for its specialized and costly semiconductors, which are used for training popular A.I. services like OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot. Nvidia has become known as one of the “Magnificent Seven” tech stocks, which, including others like Amazon, Apple and Microsoft, have helped power the stock market.Nvidia’s valuation has surged more than 40 percent to $1.7 trillion since the start of the year, turning it into...
Inside the Funding Frenzy at Anthropic, One of A.I.’s Hottest Start-Ups
Technology

Inside the Funding Frenzy at Anthropic, One of A.I.’s Hottest Start-Ups

Last May, Anthropic, one of the world’s hottest artificial intelligence start-ups, raised $450 million from investors including Google and Salesforce. It was the beginning of an astonishing funding spree.By August, Anthropic had landed $100 million from two Asian telecoms. Then Amazon committed $4 billion to it, followed by $2 billion more from Google.This month, the venture capital firm Menlo Ventures closed a deal to invest $750 million in Anthropic.All told, the A.I. start-up hauled in $7.3 billion in a year. Its five funding deals stood out not just for their speed and size, but for their unusual structures.In one of those deals, Anthropic agreed to use technology such as chips and cloud computing services from the companies that invested in it. That meant, in effect, that some of the ...
‘Most Wanted’ Man Pleads Guilty in Cyberattack That Upended Vermont Hospital
Technology

‘Most Wanted’ Man Pleads Guilty in Cyberattack That Upended Vermont Hospital

A Ukrainian man pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday to his leadership role in two cyberattack schemes that caused tens of millions of dollars in losses and temporarily crippled a Vermont hospital in 2020, according to the Justice Department.Prosecutors said that Vyacheslav Igorevich Penchukov, 37, was a leader for an organization that in May 2009 began to infect thousands of computers at corporations with malicious software, and that he helped lead a separate malware scheme that began around November 2018.Mr. Penchukov, of Donetsk, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court in Nebraska to one count of conspiracy to commit an offense that violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He was arrested in Switzerland in...
The Antitrust Enforcers Aimed at Big Tech. Then Came the Backlash.
Technology

The Antitrust Enforcers Aimed at Big Tech. Then Came the Backlash.

The South Korean government unleashed a wave of panic across the internet industry: The country’s antitrust regulator said it would enact the toughest competition law outside Europe, curbing the influence of major technology companies.The Korea Fair Trade Commission, with the backing of President Yoon Suk Yeol, said in December that it planned to make a proposal modeled after the 2022 Digital Markets Act, the European Union’s landmark law to rein in American tech giants. This bill also seemed to target South Korea’s own internet conglomerates just as much as the Alphabets, Apples and Metas of the world.The commission said the law would designate certain companies as dominant platforms and limit their ability to use strongholds in one online business to expand into new areas.Then last week,...
SpaceX Launches Intuitive Machines Nova-C Moon Lander
Technology

SpaceX Launches Intuitive Machines Nova-C Moon Lander

Another month, another try at the moon.A robotic lunar lander launched into space early Thursday morning. If all goes well, in nine days, it will become the first American spacecraft to gently set down on the moon’s surface since the Apollo 17 moon landing in 1972.It would also become the first private effort to reach the surface of the moon in one piece. Three earlier attempts, by an American company, a Japanese company and an Israeli nonprofit, failed.The company in charge of this mission, Intuitive Machines of Houston, is optimistic.“I feel fairly confident that we’re going to be successful softly touching down on the moon,” Stephen Altemus, the president and chief executive of Intuitive Machines, said in an interview. “We’ve done the tests. We tested and tested and tested. As much test...
SpaceX to Launch Intuitive Machines Nova-C Moon Lander: How to Watch
Technology

SpaceX to Launch Intuitive Machines Nova-C Moon Lander: How to Watch

Another month, another try at the moon.A robotic lunar lander is scheduled to launch in the early morning hours of Wednesday. If all goes well, it will become the first American spacecraft to set down softly on the moon’s surface since the Apollo 17 moon landing in 1972.It is also the latest private effort to send spacecraft to the moon. Earlier attempts have all ended in failure. But the company in charge of the latest effort, Intuitive Machines of Houston, is optimistic. “I feel fairly confident that we’re going to be successful softly touching down on the moon,” said Stephen Altemus, the president and chief executive of Intuitive Machines. “We’ve done the testing. We’ve tested and tested and tested. As much testing as we could do.”When is the launch and how can I watch?The Intuitive Mac...
Imran Khan Uses A.I. To Give Victory Speech in Pakistan
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Imran Khan Uses A.I. To Give Victory Speech in Pakistan

Imran Khan, Pakistan’s former prime minister, has spent the duration of the country’s electoral campaign in jail, disqualified from running in what experts have described as one of the least credible general elections in the country’s 76-year history.But from behind bars, he has been rallying his supporters in recent months with speeches that use artificial intelligence to replicate his voice, part of a tech-savvy strategy his party deployed to circumvent a crackdown by the military.And on Saturday, as official counts showed candidates aligned with his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, or P.T.I., winning the most seats in a surprise result that threw the country’s political system into chaos, it was Mr. Khan’s A.I. voice that declared victory.“I had full confidence that you would all come o...
Does Technology Rule Our Sex and Dating Lives?
Technology

Does Technology Rule Our Sex and Dating Lives?

“I never really thought about the fact that it’s connected to the internet,” she said. “Being Gen Z, I feel like sex is so connected to technology already that it didn’t feel weird having something that’s a bit more technological than just say, watching something online.”While the pitch for products like Lovense and WeVibe, another popular brand of remote controlled vibrators and stimulation rings, might seem self-evident — to create pleasure — much of the latest sex tech often has a loftier goal in mind. Make Love Not Porn, a user-generated social sex platform, aims to eradicate the unrealistic standards created by hard core pornography by showing unrehearsed, consensual, “real world” sex, said Cindy Gallop, the company’s founder and a veteran sex educator.Meanwhile, products like the VDO...