Technology

Apple Vision Pro Review: First Headset Lacks Polish and Purpose
Technology

Apple Vision Pro Review: First Headset Lacks Polish and Purpose

About 17 years ago, Steve Jobs took the stage at a San Francisco convention center and said he was introducing three products: an iPod, a phone and an internet browser.“These are not three separate devices,” he said. “This is one device, and we are calling it iPhone.”At $500, the first iPhone was relatively expensive, but I was eager to dump my mediocre Motorola flip phone and splurge. There were flaws — including sluggish cellular internet speeds. But the iPhone delivered on its promises.Over the last week, I’ve had a very different experience with a new first-generation product from Apple: the Vision Pro, a virtual reality headset that resembles a pair of ski goggles. The $3,500 wearable computer, which was released Friday, uses cameras so you can see the outside world while juggling app...
Tucker Carlson’s Visit to Russia Draws Speculation of Putin Interview
Technology

Tucker Carlson’s Visit to Russia Draws Speculation of Putin Interview

Tucker Carlson, the former Fox News host who now has a show on the social network X, has been spotted in Moscow in recent days, leading to speculation in Russia and the United States that he is about to achieve his long-stated goal of interviewing President Vladimir V. Putin.If so, Mr. Carlson would be the first American media figure to land a formal interview with the Russian leader since he invaded Ukraine nearly two years ago.Mr. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, has indicated that Mr. Putin was denying requests from Western new outlets because their countries had been “stupefied” by anti-Russian propaganda. But Mr. Carlson has been a defender of Mr. Putin while attacking his Western critics, placing him at the vanguard of a pro-Putin wing of the American conservative movement.In a call...
How A.I. Is Remodeling the Fantasy Home
Technology

How A.I. Is Remodeling the Fantasy Home

I was scrolling through Instagram recently when I found a new page slipped into my feed through a suggested post: @tinyhouseperfect. It seemed designed to poke at my frustrated longings for a space of my own. I want to own a house; I cannot currently buy a house. But what if the house were very small? Very small, and also perfect?Soon I was navigating the reading nooks and chef’s kitchens of an elfin cottage, a gothic coastal A-frame, a cozy “loch house” in the Scottish Highlands. I had projected my future self to the Scottish seaside, wondering how much the house might cost to rent for a weekend, when I realized that price was no object because the house did not exist. Each of these teensy homes had been rendered by A.I. software and smoothed with an assist from more A.I. software. I had ...
He’s Lost His Marriage, His Followers and His Lamborghini
Technology

He’s Lost His Marriage, His Followers and His Lamborghini

With its streamlined curves and glow-in-the-dark sound system, the silver Lamborghini Huracán Performante was the stuff of teenage fantasy: $350,000 of aerodynamic metals and lightweight upholstery, packed into a taut and powerful body. Ben Armstrong loved it dearly.When he started shopping for a Lamborghini, Mr. Armstrong, a cryptocurrency evangelist with more than one million YouTube subscribers, worried that he’d have to spend months searching. “I think I have to go to Italy to get the Lambo I want,” he texted a business partner. “I don’t want to compromise.” But fate smiled on him. In the fall of 2021, a car dealership in Charlotte, N.C., shipped the Huracán to Mr. Armstrong’s production studio in an Atlanta suburb.As the Lamborghini was lowered from a delivery truck, Mr. Armstrong, be...
Senators Denounce Tech Companies Over Child Sex Abuse Online
Technology

Senators Denounce Tech Companies Over Child Sex Abuse Online

Lawmakers on Wednesday denounced the chief executives of Meta, TikTok, X, Snap and Discord, accusing them of creating “a crisis in America” by willfully ignoring the harmful content against children on their platforms, as concerns over the effect of technology on youths have mushroomed.In a highly charged 3.5-hour hearing, members of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee raised their voices and repeatedly castigated the five tech leaders — who run online services that are very popular with teenagers and younger children — for prioritizing profits over the well-being of youths. Some said the companies had “blood on their hands” and that users “would die waiting” for them to make changes to protect children. At one point, lawmakers compared the tech companies to cigarette makers.“Every par...
Focused Cuts and Fewer Layers: Tech Layoffs Enter a New Phase
Technology

Focused Cuts and Fewer Layers: Tech Layoffs Enter a New Phase

Last year, Mark Zuckerberg declared 2023 to be a “year of efficiency.” His company, Meta, soon laid off a third of its employees. Amazon, Google and Microsoft also cut tens of thousands of workers.Their worlds did not stop. Not only that, the companies were rewarded. Their stock prices soared. Some divisions were more productive. And the companies — including X, formerly known as Twitter, which has chopped nearly 80 percent of its staff since late 2022 — continued operating.Other chief executives took notice. And a month into 2024, tech companies have entered a new phase of cost cutting.After last year’s widespread layoffs, the largest firms — including Amazon, Google and Microsoft — have in recent weeks made smaller, targeted job trims while focusing on fewer projects and shifting resourc...
David L. Mills, Who Kept the Internet Running on Time, Dies at 85
Technology

David L. Mills, Who Kept the Internet Running on Time, Dies at 85

David L. Mills, an internet pioneer who developed and, for decades, implemented the timekeeping protocol used by financial markets, power grids, satellites and billions of computers to make sure they run simultaneously, earning him a reputation as the internet’s “Father Time,” died on Jan. 17 at his home in Newark, Del. He was 85.His daughter, Leigh Schnitzler, confirmed the death.Dr. Mills was among the inner circle of computer scientists who from the 1960s through the ’90s developed Arpanet, a relatively small network of linked computers located at academic and research institutions, and then its globe-spanning successor, the internet.It was challenging enough to develop the hardware and software needed to connect even a small number of computers. But Dr. Mills and his colleagues recogni...
23andMe Breach Targeted Jewish and Chinese Customers, Lawsuit Says
Technology

23andMe Breach Targeted Jewish and Chinese Customers, Lawsuit Says

The genetic testing company 23andMe is being accused in a class-action lawsuit of failing to protect the privacy of customers whose personal information was exposed last year in a data breach that affected nearly seven million profiles.The lawsuit, which was filed on Friday in federal court in San Francisco, also accused the company of failing to notify customers with Chinese and Ashkenazi Jewish heritage that they appeared to have been specifically targeted, or that their personal genetic information had been compiled into “specially curated lists” that were shared and sold on the dark web.The suit was filed after 23andMe submitted a notification to the California Attorney General’s Office that showed the company was hacked over the course of five months, from late April 2023 through Sept...
Tesla Profit From Car Sales Falls as Price Cuts Hurt
Technology

Tesla Profit From Car Sales Falls as Price Cuts Hurt

Tesla’s profit from sales of electric cars slumped in the last three months of last year because of price cuts intended to thwart increasingly intense competition, the company said on Wednesday as it warned of a tough year ahead.Profit in the fourth quarter nearly doubled to $7.9 billion, up from $3.7 billion a year earlier. But $5.9 billion of that profit came from a tax benefit. Without that one-time accounting effect, profit would have fallen.Tesla has slashed prices for the two cars that make up the bulk of its sales — the Model 3 sedan and the Model Y sport utility vehicle — as automakers like BYD, in China, and General Motors, Hyundai, Ford Motor and Volkswagen, in the United States and Europe, have begun selling more electric vehicles.The price cuts have helped Tesla sell more cars ...
Even Rats Are Taking Selfies Now (and Enjoying It)
Technology

Even Rats Are Taking Selfies Now (and Enjoying It)

When Augustin Lignier, a professional photographer in Paris, was in graduate school, he began to ponder the point of picture-taking in the modern world: Why did so many of us feel compelled to photograph our lives and share those images online?It was not a novel question, but it led Mr. Lignier to a surprising place, and before long he found himself building what was, in essence, a photo booth for rats.He took inspiration from B.F. Skinner, the famous behaviorist who had devised a test chamber to study learning in rats. The Skinner box, as it became known, dispensed food pellets when rats pushed a designated lever.It became one of the most well-known experimental paradigms in psychology. Scientists found that reward-seeking rats became lever-pressing pros, pushing the bar down over and ove...