Technology

Volkswagen Sees Electric Vehicles as a Way to Grow in the U.S.
Technology

Volkswagen Sees Electric Vehicles as a Way to Grow in the U.S.

Probably only Americans of a certain age remember when the Volkswagen Beetle was the best-selling imported car in the United States and the hippest ride to a Grateful Dead concert was a Volkswagen Microbus.Volkswagen is trying to tap some of that nostalgia in its latest push to regain the status and sales it enjoyed in the United States during the Beetle’s and Microbus’s heydays in the 1960s. But this time it hopes its top models will be electric.The German carmaker is second only to Toyota globally but is a niche player in the United States. Part of its plan to revive its fortunes here is to lean on a new electric model that resembles the Microbus, the ID.Buzz, and to revive the Scout brand with a line of electric pickups and sport utility vehicles.Last week, as giant earth movers kicked ...
‘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,...
U.S. Disrupts Hacking Operation Led by Russian Intelligence
Technology

U.S. Disrupts Hacking Operation Led by Russian Intelligence

The F.B.I., working with other countries, disrupted a Russian hacking operation that infiltrated more than 1,000 home and small-business internet routers in the United States and around the world, the Justice Department announced on Thursday.Russian intelligence, collaborating with cybercriminals, created a botnet, or a network of private computers infected with malicious software, to spy on military and security organizations and private corporations in countries like the United States.Using a court order, the F.B.I. secretly copied and deleted stolen data and malware from hacked routers. Doing this stopped Russia’s ability to use the routers without affecting how they function, officials said. The F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, shared details of the operation at an annual security...
SpaceX Postpones Launch of Intuitive Machines Nova-C Moon Lander
Technology

SpaceX Postpones Launch of Intuitive Machines Nova-C Moon Lander

Another month, another try at the moon — but not on Wednesday.SpaceX announced the postponement on Tuesday night of the scheduled launch of a private robotic lunar lander.The spacecraft, built by Intuitive Machines of Houston, is on top the rocket on the launchpad. Weather conditions were favorable but a technical issue led to the delay of its flight by at least a day. The next attempt will be Thursday at 1:05 a.m. Eastern time.If all goes well then, it will set up the first American spacecraft to land softly on the moon’s surface since the Apollo 17 moon landing in 1972. It will also be the latest private effort to send a spacecraft to the moon.Why was the launch postponed?The Intuitive Machines lander, named Odysseus, was scheduled to launch at 12:57 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday on a SpaceX...
When the Voice You Hear Is Not the Actor You See
Technology

When the Voice You Hear Is Not the Actor You See

In the darkest moments of a family tragedy, when the playwright Mona Pirnot couldn’t find the strength to verbalize her feelings to her boyfriend or her therapist, she tried something a little unorthodox: She typed her thoughts into her laptop, and prompted a text-to-speech program to voice them aloud.It was a coping mechanism that also sparked a creative pivot: Pirnot’s then-boyfriend, now-husband, Lucas Hnath, is also a playwright, with a longtime interest in sound and a more recent history of building shows around disembodied voices. His last play, “A Simulacrum,” featured a magician re-creating his side of a conversation with Hnath, whose voice was heard via a tape recording; and his play before that, “Dana H.,” featured an actress lip-syncing interviews in which the playwright’s mothe...
The Friar Who Became the Vatican’s Go-To Guy on A.I.
Technology

The Friar Who Became the Vatican’s Go-To Guy on A.I.

Before dawn, Paolo Benanti climbed to the bell tower of his 16th-century monastery, admired the sunrise over the ruins of the Roman forum and reflected on a world in flux.“It was a wonderful meditation on what is going on inside,” he said, stepping onto the street in his friar robe. “And outside too.”There is a lot is going on for Father Benanti, who, as both the Vatican’s and the Italian government’s go-to artificial intelligence ethicist, spends his days thinking about the Holy Ghost and the ghosts in the machines.In recent weeks, the ethics professor, ordained priest and self-proclaimed geek has joined Bill Gates at a meeting with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, presided over a commission seeking to save Italian media from ChatGPT bylines and general A.I. oblivion, and met with Vatican o...
F.C.C. Bans A.I.-Generated Robocalls – The New York Times
Technology

F.C.C. Bans A.I.-Generated Robocalls – The New York Times

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday outlawed unwanted robocalls generated by artificial intelligence, amid growing concerns over election disinformation and consumer fraud facilitated by the technology.The unanimous decision by the F.C.C. cited a three-decade-old law aimed at curbing junk phone calls, clarifying that A.I.-generated spam calls are also illegal. By doing so, the agency said it expanded the ability of states to prosecute creators of unsolicited spam robocalls.“It seems like something from the far-off future, but it is already here,” the F.C.C. chairwoman, Jessica Rosenworcel, said in a statement. “Bad actors are using A.I.-generated voices in unsolicited robocalls to extort vulnerable family members, imitate celebrities and misinform voters.”Concerns about the u...
ESPN, Fox and Others to Launch Sports Streaming Service: What to Know
Technology

ESPN, Fox and Others to Launch Sports Streaming Service: What to Know

Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery announced on Tuesday that they would join together and sell access to all of the sports they televise through a new streaming service. It will be available this fall, but many other details, like price or who would run the service, are not yet known.The subtext of the agreement — and of most decisions media companies make — is that the cable bundle is collapsing. A decade ago, about 100 million homes in the United States subscribed to a package of cable or satellite television channels. Today, that number is around 70 million, and dropping.Media companies know that young adults no longer sign up for cable, and that their best customers are also their oldest. They know people no longer think of “television,” but are instead used to “content” that can b...
Google’s Once Happy Offices Feel the Chill of Layoffs
Technology

Google’s Once Happy Offices Feel the Chill of Layoffs

When Diane Hirsh Theriault’s co-worker returned from lunch to Google’s Cambridge, Mass., office one afternoon in October, his work badge couldn’t open a turnstile. He quickly realized it was a sign that he had been laid off.Dr. Hirsh Theriault soon learned that most of her fellow Google News engineers in Cambridge had also lost their jobs. More than 40 people in the news division were cut, a company union said, though a number of them were later offered jobs elsewhere inside Google.Dr. Hirsh Theriault’s experience is increasingly common at Google, where rolling job cuts in recent months, after a year of significant layoffs, have employees on edge. The layoffs have slowed down projects and prompted employees to spend working hours trying to learn which work groups have been hit and who coul...