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Tom Simonite

A View from Tom Simonite

Recommended Computing Reads This Week

A roundup of the best stories on computing from other sites, collected by Tom Simonite, MIT Technology Review’s San Francisco bureau chief.

  • September 23, 2015

IPhone 6s: Apple’s Best Trap Yet
A Wall Street Journal gadget reviewer makes an “iPhone Declaration of Independence,” calling on Apple to remove features of its software that make it hard to use competitor products on its devices or extricate your data from them.

A Tricky Path to Quantum-Safe Encryption
If quantum computers become practical, the encryption technology that keeps our data safe will be useless. Some cryptographers and the U.S. National Security Agency are trying to invent new forms of encryption that could be safe in a post-quantum world.

OPM Says Five Times as Many Fingerprints Stolen in Cyberattack as Previously Thought
Files storing copies of the fingerprints of 5.6 million U.S. federal workers were stolen in a breach disclosed by the Office of Personnel Management this summer, not 1.1 million. The news is a reminder that central databases of biometrics are risky, and that organizations victim to hacks often struggle to understand their scope.

VW Scandal Highlights Irony of EPA Opposition to Vehicle Software Tinkering
Volkswagen’s use of software that made cars cheat on emissions tests lends weight to calls to remove copyright protections that make inspecting the code inside cars illegal. Strangely, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which uncovered VW’s fraud, still opposes the idea.

The U.S. Is Overhauling Dozens of Policies to Promote High-Speed Internet Access
A new report from the White House says Internet access is a “core utility” like water or power infrastructure but also that inequality of access is a problem. Twenty federal agencies are now trying to address that, for example by making it easier to lay new Interent cables.

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