The Download

What's up in emerging technology


A Pair of AIs Have Become Very Good at Guessing Your Passwords

Two neural networks can guess a quarter of the passwords in use on a website. At least that's according to new research by a team from the Stevens Institute of Technology, who have built a so-called generative adversarial network that can make educated… Read more

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  • Jamie Condliffe

Google’s New Mobile Payment System Sends Money via Sound

The company's new digital payment app, called Tez, allows people in India to use a phone to pay for goods in physical stores and online, or make payments to other bank accounts. It’s different from the (already incredibly popular) Indian service PayTM… Read more

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  • Google
Is Trump wavering over the Paris climate deal?

Might America Stay in the Paris Climate Pact After All?

Some members of Trump’s administration appear not to be ruling it out. Over the weekend, off the back of a climate meeting in Montreal, secretary of state Rex Tillerson told CBS that the government is “open to finding … conditions where we can remain… Read more

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  • Veeterzy | Unsplash

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September 15, 2017 Internet connections vary dramatically around the world

The UN Says the Global Digital Divide Could Become a Yawning Chasm

More than 52 percent of people on the planet still don't have Internet access. Men outnumber women as Web users in every region of the world. And there remain massive disparities in connection speeds in different countries. These are just some of the… Read more

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  • Yuttana Koedpradit

A Carbon-Fiber Cage Could Crash-Proof Drone Delivery

For those worried about the fragility of the items shipped through the air, there may be a solution. Researchers at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland have developed a giant carbon-fiber cage that sits around a drone to protect… Read more

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  • EPFL
Facebook still has a hate problem

Facebook’s Anti-Semitic Ad-Targeting Disaster

Turns out Facebook will let you focus advertising at people with some horrible worldviews. An investigation by ProPublica published Thursday revealed that the company’s advertising platform allows people to send ads specifically to people who list topics… Read more

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  • Hamza Butt | Sole Treadmill
September 14, 2017 The Daimler eCanter

Electric Trucks Are Finally Hitting American Roads

"The game has started." So says Daimler Trucks Asia chief Mark Llistosella, more than a little ominously, in an interview with Reuters. He’s referring to the fact that electric trucks, once thought absurd, are finally taking to the roads.

Daimler has… Read more

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  • Daimler AG
I come with very good news. We’re the only company in Silicon Valley that’s not building a car.
Take my data!

Nope, We Can’t Trust Data Firms to Update Against Known Security Flaws

It seems Equifax was hacked using a two-month-old vulnerability that it could have protected itself against.

"We know that criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability,” the company wrote in a statement. “The vulnerability was Apache… Read more

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A new low-power wireless data chip

A New Mobile Chip Beams Data for Miles Using Almost No Power

For under a dime and with just a whisker of electricity, devices could send data throughout a building. Researchers at the University of Washington led by Shyam Gollakota, one of our 35 Innovators Under 35 in 2014, have built a new chip that uses reflected… Read more

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  • University of Washington