Facebook’s AI Ambitions; Internet Crime Wave; and more [Weekly Computing Newsletter]

August 13, 2015

Weekly Computing Newsletter


Featured Story

Inside Facebook’s Quest for Software That Understands You

A reincarnation of one of the oldest ideas in artificial intelligence could finally make it possible to truly converse with our computers. And Facebook has a chance to make it happen first.




What Criminals May Gain from the Next Evolution of Bitcoin

Investors see riches in a cryptography-enabled technology called smart contracts–but it could also offer much to criminals.






India Builds a Solar Future Based on Homegrown Technology

As the government embarks on an ambitious renewables program, researchers seek technology solutions suited to India’s unique conditions.




Software Lets You Teach AI to Play Computer Games

A new company wants to build artificial intelligence through game play.




IBM Plans to Teach Watson How to Sift Through Medical Images and Diagnose Diseases

IBM seeks to transform image-based diagnostics by combining its cognitive computing technology with a massive collection of medical images.




Security Software Uses Friendly Phishing to Probe Human Weaknesses That Leave Data Exposed

A tool designed to test key employees with benign phishing messages aims to reduce the risk of corporate data breaches.




A Hacker’s “Unexpected Physics” Can Cause Physical Damage to Industrial Facilities like Oil Refineries

A security researcher has worked out more than a dozen ways to remotely wreck the guts of industrial facilities.




A Lawyer Ponders the Best Way to Let the U.S. Government Unscramble Our Encrypted Messages

A lawyer and cryptographer try to sketch out the most secure way to let the U.S. government intercept encrypted messages—and conclude it still won’t work.




The Protocol Stitching the Internet Together Is Still Too Easily Used for Bad Things

Attacking the Internet’s core infrastructure to intercept Web traffic at mass scale is easier than it should be.




Why Google’s Alphabet Is Nothing like Berkshire Hathaway—and Much Riskier

Google’s new structure has few historical precedents, in tech or outside it.




Recommended from Around the Web (Week Ending August 8, 2015)

A roundup of the most interesting stories from other sites, collected by the staff at MIT Technology Review.




Google Tries to Make Life Extension and Other Sideshows into Real Businesses

Google’s rebirth as Alphabet is an attempt to prove that the company’s “moonshots” can be as successful as its Internet business.




Seven Must-Read Stories (Week Ending August 8, 2015)

Another chance to catch the most interesting, and important, articles from the previous week on MIT Technology Review.


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