You’ve done your Internet search. Tantalizing links clamor for your attention. But it’s hard to know which might contain spyware or throw you into the clutches of a spammer (see “Malware Menace”).
A Boston-based startup, SiteAdvisor, is beta-testing a tool to sort the good from the bad. With SiteAdvisor’s software, one of three icons will appear next to many links – a red X signifying “stay away,” a yellow exclamation point suggesting reason to worry, or a green check mark for the all-clear. If you visit a site, warning balloons may pop up saying things like “After entering our e-mail address on this site, we received 197 e-mails per week. They were very spammy.”
The software was developed by two MIT-trained computer scientists, Doug Wyatt and Tom Pinckney, and consists of Web crawlers that roam the Internet, downloading proffered software and filling out sign-on forms to see what happens. The resulting knowledge is combined with information from the open-source security community and website owners and users.
“In some sense, you can think of this as a search engine – except instead of trying to find content and relevance, we are trying to find out safety information you can use,” Wyatt says. SiteAdvisor launches in March as a free download. Upgraded, fee-based versions are expected later this year.
DeepMind’s cofounder: Generative AI is just a phase. What’s next is interactive AI.
“This is a profound moment in the history of technology,” says Mustafa Suleyman.
What to know about this autumn’s covid vaccines
New variants will pose a challenge, but early signs suggest the shots will still boost antibody responses.
Human-plus-AI solutions mitigate security threats
With the right human oversight, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence can help keep business and customer data secure
Next slide, please: A brief history of the corporate presentation
From million-dollar slide shows to Steve Jobs’s introduction of the iPhone, a bit of show business never hurt plain old business.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.