Greg Schneider at The Washington Post reports of problems that Maryland is having with a device available for sale on the Internet that changes red traffic lights to green ones.
Apparently between 1000 and 3000 traffic lights in Maryland have been outfitted with a device that turns them from red to green when they are strobed with an infrared beam. These beams are typically transmitted by police cars and fire engines. The newer devices use a coded beam, but the old devices didn’t — and that’s the problem.
A company in Minnesota is selling a device that transmits the infrared beam, allowing anybody to control the traffic lights. No more red lights! What a cool idea! Unfortunately, it can cause huge traffic jams, accidents, and it’s illegal.
Just another demonstration that it’s not safe to deploy systems with security flaws and hope that nobody will discover them.
Here’s how a Twitter engineer says it will break in the coming weeks
One insider says the company’s current staffing isn’t able to sustain the platform.
Technology that lets us “speak” to our dead relatives has arrived. Are we ready?
Digital clones of the people we love could forever change how we grieve.
How to befriend a crow
I watched a bunch of crows on TikTok and now I'm trying to connect with some local birds.
Starlink signals can be reverse-engineered to work like GPS—whether SpaceX likes it or not
Elon said no thanks to using his mega-constellation for navigation. Researchers went ahead anyway.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.