Intelligent Machines

Recommended Computing and Internet Reads This Week

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

Dec 9, 2015

Satoshi’s PGP Keys Are Probably Backdated and Point to a Hoax
The latest claim to have found the pseudonymous creator(s) of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, appears to be unraveling. One thing we do know for sure is that much of the work done to get Bitcoin to where it is today was actually done by Nakamoto’s successor (see “The Man Who Really Built Bitcoin”).

Why AT&T Is Out-Building Google Fiber
When Google invited cities to pitch to host installations of the search giant’s high-speed broadband service, Fiber, many mayors scrambled to show their cities were ready. That’s helped AT&T speed up the roll out of its competing next-generation broadband service. This adds to earlier evidence that Google injecting much-needed competition into the ISP market is helping improve U.S. infrastructure (see “The Wait-for-Google-to-Do-It Strategy”).

Top Democratic Senator Will Seek Legislation to “Pierce” Through Encryption
Diane Feinstein, chair of the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, is to draft legislation that would require tech companies to provide law enforcement access to encrypted data. It is unclear how Feinstein thinks that could be technically achieved, but it would not be compatible with the current design of some messaging systems, such as WhatsApp, or mobile devices, such as the iPhone, that encrypt data using the owner’s passcode.

Tech Giants Say Verizon’s New Cellular Tech Could Wreck Wi-Fi
Companies including Google, Microsoft, and Comcast are trying to delay the approval of a new cellular wireless technology called LTE-U, saying it will interfere with Wi-Fi connections. LTE-U is being championed by cellular networks and mobile chip companies who say it will dramatically improve mobile data coverage and bandwidth (see “Coffee Shops and Home Routers Could Offer Nearby Phones a 4G Data Connection”). Companies on both sides say they have technical evidence backing up their claims.

The Photo App Boasting Facial Recognition Power to Beat Them All
An app uses artificial intelligence to make your photos easier to manage and explore. For example, snaps are grouped under categories such as “happiness,” “togetherness,” “relaxation,” and “looking good.” You can also search for places or things such as “beach” or “snow.”