Technology

AT&T Offers $5 Credit After Widespread Service Outage
Technology

AT&T Offers $5 Credit After Widespread Service Outage

AT&T will offer a $5 credit to customers affected by a widespread outage on Thursday that was caused by technical issues the company encountered while trying to expand its network, its chief executive said on Sunday.The outage, which started around 3:30 a.m. Eastern time, temporarily cut off connections for users across the United States.Some of the affected cities included Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York, according to Downdetector.com, which tracks user reports of telecommunication and internet disruptions.At its peak, the site had received about 70,000 reports of disrupted service for AT&T. Service was fully restored after about seven hours.“No matter the timing, one thing is clear — we let down many of our customers, including many of you and your families,” the chief executiv...
A Marketplace of Girl Influencers Managed by Moms and Stalked by Men
Technology

A Marketplace of Girl Influencers Managed by Moms and Stalked by Men

The ominous messages began arriving in Elissa’s inbox early last year.“You sell pics of your underage daughter to pedophiles,” read one. “You’re such a naughty sick mom, you’re just as sick as us pedophiles,” read another. “I will make your life hell for you and your daughter.”Elissa has been running her daughter’s Instagram account since 2020, when the girl was 11 and too young to have her own. Photos show a bright, bubbly girl modeling evening dresses, high-end workout gear and dance leotards. She has more than 100,000 followers, some so enthusiastic about her posts that they pay $9.99 a month for more photos.Over the years, Elissa has fielded all kinds of criticism and knows full well that some people think she is exploiting her daughter. She has even gotten used to receiving creepy mes...
AT&T Says Service Is Restored After Widespread Cellular Outage
Technology

AT&T Says Service Is Restored After Widespread Cellular Outage

AT&T said on Thursday that it had fully restored service to its wireless network after a widespread outage temporarily cut off connections for users across the United States for many hours, the cause of which was still under investigation.The outage, which affected people in cities including Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York, was first reported around 3:30 a.m. Eastern time, according to Downdetector.com, which tracks user reports of telecommunication and internet disruptions. At its peak, the site listed around 70,000 reports of disrupted service for the wireless carrier.Multiple government agencies said they were looking into the incident, although the Biden administration told reporters that AT&T said there was no reason to think it was a cyberattack.AT&T did not disclose th...
Volkswagen Sees Electric Vehicles as a Way to Grow in the U.S.
Technology

Volkswagen Sees Electric Vehicles as a Way to Grow in the U.S.

Probably only Americans of a certain age remember when the Volkswagen Beetle was the best-selling imported car in the United States and the hippest ride to a Grateful Dead concert was a Volkswagen Microbus.Volkswagen is trying to tap some of that nostalgia in its latest push to regain the status and sales it enjoyed in the United States during the Beetle’s and Microbus’s heydays in the 1960s. But this time it hopes its top models will be electric.The German carmaker is second only to Toyota globally but is a niche player in the United States. Part of its plan to revive its fortunes here is to lean on a new electric model that resembles the Microbus, the ID.Buzz, and to revive the Scout brand with a line of electric pickups and sport utility vehicles.Last week, as giant earth movers kicked ...
Plans to Expand U.S. Chip Manufacturing Are Running Into Obstacles
Technology

Plans to Expand U.S. Chip Manufacturing Are Running Into Obstacles

In December 2022, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the key maker of the world’s most cutting-edge chips, said it planned to spend $40 billion in Arizona on its first major U.S. hub for semiconductor production.The much ballyhooed project outside Phoenix — with two new factories, including one with more advanced technology — became a symbol of President Biden’s quest to spur more domestic production of chips, the slices of silicon that help all manner of devices make calculations and store data.Then last summer, TSMC pushed back initial manufacturing at its first Arizona factory to 2025 from this year, saying local workers lacked expertise in installing some sophisticated equipment. Last month, the company said the second plant wouldn’t produce chips until 2027 or 2028, rather th...
OpenAI Completes Deal That Values the Company at $80 Billion
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OpenAI Completes Deal That Values the Company at $80 Billion

OpenAI has completed a deal that values the San Francisco artificial intelligence company at $80 billion or more, nearly tripling its valuation in less than 10 months, according to three people with knowledge of the deal.The company would sell existing shares in a so-called tender offer led by the venture firm Thrive Capital, the people said. The deal lets employees cash out their shares in the company, rather than a traditional funding round that would raise money for business operations.OpenAI, which declined to comment, is now one of the world’s most valuable tech start-ups, behind ByteDance and SpaceX, according to figures from the data tracker CB Insights.The deal is another example of the Silicon Valley deal-making machine pumping money into a handful of companies that specialize in ...
U.S. Disrupts Hacking Operation Led by Russian Intelligence
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U.S. Disrupts Hacking Operation Led by Russian Intelligence

The F.B.I., working with other countries, disrupted a Russian hacking operation that infiltrated more than 1,000 home and small-business internet routers in the United States and around the world, the Justice Department announced on Thursday.Russian intelligence, collaborating with cybercriminals, created a botnet, or a network of private computers infected with malicious software, to spy on military and security organizations and private corporations in countries like the United States.Using a court order, the F.B.I. secretly copied and deleted stolen data and malware from hacked routers. Doing this stopped Russia’s ability to use the routers without affecting how they function, officials said. The F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, shared details of the operation at an annual security...
Hackers for China, Russia and Others Used OpenAI Systems, Report Says
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Hackers for China, Russia and Others Used OpenAI Systems, Report Says

Hackers working for nation-states have used OpenAI’s systems in the creation of their cyberattacks, according to research released Wednesday by OpenAI and Microsoft.The companies believe their research, published on their websites, documents for the first time how hackers with ties to foreign governments are using generative artificial intelligence in their attacks.But instead of using A.I. to generate exotic attacks, as some in the tech industry feared, the hackers have used it in mundane ways, like drafting emails, translating documents and debugging computer code, the companies said.“They’re just using it like everyone else is, to try to be more productive in what they’re doing,” said Tom Burt, who oversees Microsoft’s efforts to track and disrupt major cyberattacks.(The New York Times ...
When the Voice You Hear Is Not the Actor You See
Technology

When the Voice You Hear Is Not the Actor You See

In the darkest moments of a family tragedy, when the playwright Mona Pirnot couldn’t find the strength to verbalize her feelings to her boyfriend or her therapist, she tried something a little unorthodox: She typed her thoughts into her laptop, and prompted a text-to-speech program to voice them aloud.It was a coping mechanism that also sparked a creative pivot: Pirnot’s then-boyfriend, now-husband, Lucas Hnath, is also a playwright, with a longtime interest in sound and a more recent history of building shows around disembodied voices. His last play, “A Simulacrum,” featured a magician re-creating his side of a conversation with Hnath, whose voice was heard via a tape recording; and his play before that, “Dana H.,” featured an actress lip-syncing interviews in which the playwright’s mothe...
Does Technology Rule Our Sex and Dating Lives?
Technology

Does Technology Rule Our Sex and Dating Lives?

“I never really thought about the fact that it’s connected to the internet,” she said. “Being Gen Z, I feel like sex is so connected to technology already that it didn’t feel weird having something that’s a bit more technological than just say, watching something online.”While the pitch for products like Lovense and WeVibe, another popular brand of remote controlled vibrators and stimulation rings, might seem self-evident — to create pleasure — much of the latest sex tech often has a loftier goal in mind. Make Love Not Porn, a user-generated social sex platform, aims to eradicate the unrealistic standards created by hard core pornography by showing unrehearsed, consensual, “real world” sex, said Cindy Gallop, the company’s founder and a veteran sex educator.Meanwhile, products like the VDO...