A simple tweak could unlock the Web for millions of people.
The letters to the right of the dot in a URL look harmless, but for many users they’re a barrier. In 2011, the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers decided to grow the number of top-level domains from 12 to 1,200, including some that use non-Latin characters. But that revealed a problem: many applications simply don’t recognize those new characters. Our own Mike Orcutt explains how a simple tweak could change that and help millions of people use the Internet more effectively.
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With James Comey out at the FBI, American privacy could take a hammering.
Donald Trump’s decision to fire James Comey as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is causing consternation. But what will it mean for tech? Comey has historically been in opposition of widespread use of encryption—most famously during the Apple-FBI battle over unlocking the San Bernardino iPhone. But as Recode’s analysis points out, Donald Trump could appoint an even more militant replacement who is happy to dramatically expand government surveillance powers.
Facebook’s new translation AI is ultra-efficient.
The social network has a new machine learning approach to help you read posts in other languages. But while it's only marginally more accurate than a system announced by Google last fall, Facebook’s learns nine times faster because it considers whole sentences at a time, rather than words one after the next. Wired reports that the advance will soon be rolled out to the social network’s 1.8 billion users, where it will form part of Facebook’s quest to build the perfect chabot.
"We think of censorship as denying information to people, but that’s a very limited, 20th Century way of looking at it."
— Zeynep Tufecki, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of Twitter and Teargas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest, describes some of the difficulties facing modern activism.