The plan was to hack the hackers. Cybercriminals had targeted a global bank’s customers with phishing emails to break into their accounts. The legal option—waiting for law enforcement to investigate and perhaps apprehend the hackers—would have taken too long. So the bank was willing to try something else, and a team of security consultants offered to strike back.
Blockchain, the secure distributed ledger technology first created to track bitcoin ownership, has taken on a number of new roles in recent years tracking anything of value from diamonds to real estate deeds to contracts. The blockchain offers the promise of a trusted record that can reduce fraud. Some industry experts say that over the coming years, it could be used to control identity information in a more secure fashion.
Entrepreneurs, tech investors, and policy makers spend considerable time thinking about the future of computing. In this post, I’ll present my prediction for what the next major wave of computing will be.
When biologists synthesize DNA, they take pains not to create or spread a dangerous stretch of genetic code that could be used to create a toxin or, worse, an infectious disease. But one group of biohackers has demonstrated how DNA can carry a less expected threat—one designed to infect not humans nor animals but computers.
Smart rings aren’t a new idea: There are plenty of fitness tracking, notification-sending, payment or even protective finger ornaments around. But none have the ability to identify you and authorize your transactions wherever you go. That is, until Token hits the market. It’s a biometric ring that can be used to open house doors, start cars, make credit card transactions and sign in to your computer.
Will we have more rights or fewer rights when artificial intelligence kicks in? How about the right to have our diseases cured, the right to a full head of hair, the right to a job that matches our skills, or the right to marry our perfect mate?
In response to advances in neuroscience and technologies that alter or read brain activity, some researchers are proposing a recognition of new human rights to mental integrity. These would protect people from having their thoughts abused, hacked, or stolen. The idea of this kind of human right is a recognition that although brain-related technologies have the potential to transform our lives in many positive ways, they also have the potential to threaten personal freedom and privacy.
Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web, now wants to save it.
The computer scientist who wrote the blueprint for what would become the World Wide Web 28 years ago today is alarmed at what has happened to it in the past year.
“Over the past 12 months, I’ve become increasingly worried about three new trends, which I believe we must tackle in order for the web to fulfill its true potential as a tool which serves all of humanity,” he said in a statement issued from London. He cited compromised personal data; fake news that he says has “spread like wildfire”; and the lack of regulation in political advertising, which he says threatens democracy.
Bruce Schneier: Last year, on October 21, your digital video recorder — or at least a DVR like yours — knocked Twitter off the internet. Someone used your DVR, along with millions of insecure webcams, routers, and other connected devices, to launch an attack that started a chain reaction, resulting in Twitter, Reddit, Netflix, and many sites going off the internet. You probably didn’t realize that your DVR had that kind of power. But it does.
2016 was a banner year for artificial intelligence. Alpha Go’s victory over Lee Sedol was perhaps one of the most important, but we saw advancements in self-driving cars, the continued embrace of bots and personal assistants for retail, adoption and competition around in-house assistants like Amazon Echo, along with frequent, sometimes weekly, breakthroughs on the academic side, mainly relating to machine learning. With the biggest tech companies in the world–Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and others–devoting more and more resources to AI, the momentum is going to increase.
The virtual currency has continued its breathtaking rise surging past $1,000, after already winning the crown of the best-performing currency in 2016 by more than doubling its value in the course of the year.
No one can predict how the future will shake out, but we can make some educated guesses. Get ready to step into the future.