Technology

Microsoft Tops Apple to Become Most Valuable Public Company
Technology

Microsoft Tops Apple to Become Most Valuable Public Company

For more than a decade, Apple was the stock market’s undisputed king. It first overtook Exxon Mobil as the world’s most valuable public company in 2011 and held the title almost without interruption.But a transfer of power has begun.On Friday, Microsoft surpassed Apple, claiming the crown after its market value surged by more than $1 trillion over the past year. Microsoft finished the day at $2.89 trillion, higher than Apple’s $2.87 trillion, according to Bloomberg.The change is part of a reordering of the stock market that was set in motion by the advent of generative artificial intelligence. The technology, which can answer questions, create images and write code, has been heralded for its potential to disrupt businesses and create trillions of dollars in economic value.When Apple replac...
U.S. Criminally Charges EBay in Cyberstalking Case
Technology

U.S. Criminally Charges EBay in Cyberstalking Case

The Justice Department charged eBay on Thursday with stalking, witness tampering and obstruction of justice in a rare criminal case against a well-known Silicon Valley company.The charges, which will be dropped under a deferred prosecution agreement if eBay maintains a good record for the next three years, stem from actions taken by the company in 2019 to undermine and silence the writers of an e-commerce newsletter that was mildly critical of some of its behavior. The intimidation efforts included various forms of cyberstalking and harassment that were continuing when the perpetrators were arrested.In its agreement with the government, eBay will engage an independent corporate compliance monitor. It also agreed to pay a criminal penalty of $3 million, the maximum fine for its six felony o...
Microsoft Debates What to Do With A.I. Lab in China
Technology

Microsoft Debates What to Do With A.I. Lab in China

When Microsoft opened an advanced research lab in Beijing in 1998, it was a time of optimism about technology and China.The company hired hundreds of researchers for the lab, which pioneered Microsoft’s work in speech, image and facial recognition and the kind of artificial intelligence that later gave rise to online chatbots like ChatGPT. The Beijing operation eventually became one of the most important A.I. labs in the world. Bill Gates, Microsoft’s co-founder, called it an opportunity to tap China’s “deep pool of intellectual talent.”But as tensions between the United States and China have mounted over which nation will lead the world’s technological future, Microsoft’s top leaders — including Satya Nadella, its chief executive, and Brad Smith, its president — have debated what to do wi...
After Vulcan Rocket Launches, U.S. Moon Lander Faces Problems
Technology

After Vulcan Rocket Launches, U.S. Moon Lander Faces Problems

A brand-new rocket lifted off early Monday morning from Cape Canaveral, Fla., sending a robotic spacecraft toward the surface of the moon.The launch of the vehicle, the Vulcan rocket, was flawless. The spacecraft it carried, built by Astrobotic Technology of Pittsburgh, separated 50 minutes into the flight, and its systems powered on successfully.However, a few hours later, Astrobotic reported on the social media service X that the spacecraft, known as Peregrine, was having trouble keeping itself in a steady orientation pointed at the sun.In a second update, the company said the likely cause of the problem was a malfunction of Peregrine’s propulsion system that “if proven true, threatens the ability of the spacecraft to soft land on the moon.”With the spacecraft’s solar arrays unable to ge...
Switching to a Flip Phone Helped Me Cut Down on My Smartphone Addiction
Technology

Switching to a Flip Phone Helped Me Cut Down on My Smartphone Addiction

This time of year, everyone asks what you like least about your life, but they phrase it as, “What’s your New Year’s resolution?”My biggest regret of 2023 was my relationship to my smartphone, or my “tech appendage” as I’ve named it in my iPhone settings. My Apple Screen Time reports regularly clocked in at more than five hours a day.That’s only an hour more than the average American, but I still found it staggering to think that I spent the equivalent of January, February and half of March looking at that tiny screen (April too, if we only count waking hours).Sure, some (much?) of that time was gainfully spent on activities that enrich my life or are unavoidable: work, family text threads, reading the news and keeping up with far-flung friends. But I reached for the device more than 100 t...
Museum World Hit by Cyberattack on Widely Used Software
Technology

Museum World Hit by Cyberattack on Widely Used Software

Several prominent museums have been unable to display their collections online since a cyberattack hit a prominent technological service provider that helps hundreds of cultural organizations show their works digitally and manage internal documents.The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Rubin Museum of Art in New York and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas were among the institutions confirming that their systems have experienced outages in recent days.The service provider, Gallery Systems, said in a recent message to clients, which was obtained by The New York Times, that it had noticed a problem on Dec. 28, when computers running its software became encrypted and could no longer operate. “We immediately took steps to isolate those systems and implemented measures to prev...
General Motors Reports a 14% Jump in U.S. Auto Sales in 2023
Technology

General Motors Reports a 14% Jump in U.S. Auto Sales in 2023

General Motors said on Tuesday that its sales of new vehicles in the United States jumped 14 percent last year, amid a broader rebound in the auto industry driven by a strong economy and an improved supplies of critical components.The company sold 2.6 million cars and light trucks in 2023, up from 2.3 million in 2022, when a shortage of computer chips prevented G.M. and other manufacturers from producing as many cars as consumers were looking to buy.But in a potentially worrying sign for the company, sales rose just 0.3 percent in the last three months of the year. That suggests that demand for cars and trucks weakened at the end of the year because of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases that have made car purchases more expensive.Separately, Toyota Motor, the second largest sell...
Asian American Officials Cite Unfair Scrutiny and Lost Jobs in China Spy Tensions
Technology

Asian American Officials Cite Unfair Scrutiny and Lost Jobs in China Spy Tensions

When Thomas Wong set foot in the United States Embassy in Beijing this summer for a new diplomatic posting, it was vindication after years of battling the State Department over a perceived intelligence threat — himself.Diplomatic Security officers had informed him when he joined the foreign service more than a decade ago that they were banning him from working in China. In a letter, he said, they wrongly cited the vague potential for undue “foreign preference” and suggested he could be vulnerable to “foreign influence.”Mr. Wong had become a U.S. diplomat thinking that China was where he could have the greatest impact. He had grown up in a Chinese-speaking household and studied in the country. And as a graduate of West Point who had done an Army tour in the Balkans, he thought he had experi...
How Tracking and Technology in Cars Is Being Weaponized by Abusive Partners
Technology

How Tracking and Technology in Cars Is Being Weaponized by Abusive Partners

After almost 10 years of marriage, Christine Dowdall wanted out. Her husband was no longer the charming man she had fallen in love with. He had become narcissistic, abusive and unfaithful, she said. After one of their fights turned violent in September 2022, Ms. Dowdall, a real estate agent, fled their home in Covington, La., driving her Mercedes-Benz C300 sedan to her daughter’s house near Shreveport, five hours away. She filed a domestic abuse report with the police two days later.Her husband, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent, didn’t want to let her go. He called her repeatedly, she said, first pleading with her to return, and then threatening her. She stopped responding to him, she said, even though he texted and called her hundreds of times.Ms. Dowdall, 59, started occasionally ...
This N.Y.U. Student Owns a $6 Million Crypto Mine. His Secret Is Out.
Technology

This N.Y.U. Student Owns a $6 Million Crypto Mine. His Secret Is Out.

Jerry Yu has the trappings of what the Chinese call second-generation rich. He boasts a Connecticut prep-school education. He lives in a Manhattan condominium bought for $8 million from Jeffrey R. Immelt, the former General Electric chief executive. And he is the majority owner of a Bitcoin mine in Texas, acquired last year for more than $6 million.Mr. Yu, a 23-year-old student at New York University, has also become — quite unintentionally — a case study in how Chinese nationals can move money from China to the United States without drawing the attention of authorities in either country.The Texas facility, a large computing center, was not purchased with dollars. Instead, it was bought with cryptocurrency, which offers anonymity, with the transaction routed through an offshore exchange, p...