Technology

A customer-centric approach is key in a post-pandemic world
Technology

A customer-centric approach is key in a post-pandemic world

Quoting Vladimir Lenin, Bill Kanarick describes the tectonic industry shifts brought on by the pandemic: “There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen.” After months of hunkering down at home, consumers got used to online shopping, telehealth doctor’s appointments and contactless and curbside pickup, effectively doubling e-commerce sales in the last 18 months. “So just in a one-year period, what you saw was the intensification of commitment to an investment in digital transformation driven by the pandemic in part,” says Kanarick, EY’s global chief transformation architect for consulting. “Because you had to have a distributed workforce, you had to better meet the customer where the customer needed to be met.” These new consumerist practices are here to ...
NASA is going to slam a spacecraft into an asteroid. Things might get chaotic.
Technology

NASA is going to slam a spacecraft into an asteroid. Things might get chaotic.

Led by Harrison Agrusa from the University of Maryland, researchers modeled how much DART might change the spin or rotation of Dimorphos by calculating how the momentum of the impact will alter the asteroid’s roll, pitch, and yaw. The results could be dramatic. “It could start tumbling and enter a chaotic state,” says Agrusa. “This was really quite a big surprise.” The unexpected spinning poses some interesting challenges. It will add to the difficulty of landing on the asteroid, which ESA hopes to attempt with two small spacecraft on its Hera mission. It could also make future attempts to deflect an Earthbound asteroid more complicated, as any rotation can affect an asteroid’s path through space. When DART slams into Dimorphos, the energy of the impact will be comparable to three tons of ...
Why you should be more concerned about internet shutdowns
Technology

Why you should be more concerned about internet shutdowns

Any time you see a government—or a group, in the case of the Taliban—expressing autocratic, authoritarian, and repressive views, it follows that they might do what they say they want to do, which is restrict access to information and communication. I’m very concerned about the situation in Afghanistan. Making sure that people there have access to information, the ability to communicate, and the ability to get the news is essential.  How sophisticated does somebody have to be to enact one of these shutdowns? Can anyone with a meaningful level of control over the internet infrastructure engage in these activities? You’re right to point out that the way that shutdowns transpire often relates to how much control a government has over the telecommunications infrastructure in a given countr...
Netflix’s SpaceX docuseries misses the mark on Inspiration4
Technology

Netflix’s SpaceX docuseries misses the mark on Inspiration4

I won’t bore you with too much background information on Inspiration4 (you can read our past coverage on the mission here). But the mission and the new docuseries arrive on the heels of the billionaire space summer, when both Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos blasted off into space (or nearly space). Inspiration4 features its own billionaire, Jared Isaacman, whose nerdiness makes him a less charismatic person to see on screen, but whose more restrained ego and lower profile mean he’s a much easier person to watch than either Branson or Bezos. In 90 minutes, Isaacman and SpaceX founder Elon Musk are asked only once to respond to the backlash that Branson and Bezos faced this summer, and the questions raised for why the public should care about space when the world seems to be falling...
Lithium-ion batteries just made a big leap in a tiny product
Technology

Lithium-ion batteries just made a big leap in a tiny product

A materials company in Alameda, California, has spent the last decade working to boost the energy stored in lithium-ion batteries, an advance that could enable smaller gadgets and electric vehicles with far greater range. Sila has developed silicon-based particles that can replace the graphite in anodes and hold more of the lithium ions that carry the current in a battery. Now the company is delivering its product to the market for the first time, providing a portion of the anode powder in the battery of the forthcoming Whoop 4.0, a fitness wearable. It’s a small device but potentially a big step forward for the battery field, where promising lab results often fail to translate to commercial success. “Think of the Whoop 4.0 as our Tesla Roadster,” says Gene Berdichevsky, Sila’s CEO, who as...
What happens when your prescription drug becomes the center of covid misinformation
Technology

What happens when your prescription drug becomes the center of covid misinformation

Friedman says has been forced to change how he talks to patients when he needs to prescribe hydroxychloroquine. “I’ve now worked into my scripting: ‘Hey, I want to start you on this medicine. You may have heard about it related to covid, that it was being used as a cure and it’s not,’” he says. “It got a lot of negative press. However, in dermatology we’ve been using it for decades for these different things.”  To understand the extent to which this confusion might also be ivermectin’s future, I went to r/Rosacea, the subreddit for advice on dealing with the chronic condition.  Categorically different People with rosacea know ivermectin not as an unproven covid drug, but as a proven and effective treatment that helps some people with a type of rosacea that causes bumps on the ski...
Game changer: The first Olympic games in the cloud
Technology

Game changer: The first Olympic games in the cloud

Hosted at an unprecedented time due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Summer Olympics (branded as Tokyo 2020, held in 2021, and officially called Games of the XXXII Olympiad) will be remembered for not just the extraordinary performances of the athletes, but also for being one of the most technologically advanced Games ever hosted.Cloud technology was used for the first time at the Olympics and, as a technologist, I’m thrilled to see cloud technologies playing an instrumental role in driving the digital transformation of the Games. The cloud infrastructure enabled innovative technology applications, so the Games could successfully overcome many of the hurdles put in place by the pandemic while creating a new foundation for how the Olympic Games—and other major sporting events—will be b...
A game changer in IT security
Technology

A game changer in IT security

The clock is ticking: while Fortune 500 companies find one serious vulnerability every 12 hours, it takes attackers less than 45 minutes to do the same as they scan the vastness of the internet for vulnerable business assets.Making matters worse, bad actors are multiplying, highly skilled IT professionals are a scarce resource, and the demand for contactless interactions, remote work arrangements, and agile business processes continues to expand cloud environments. This all puts an organization’s attack surface—the sum total of the nooks and crannies hackers can pry into—at risk. “We’ve seen a pretty steady set of attacks on different sectors, such as health care, transportation, food supply, and shipping,” says Gene Spafford, a professor of computer science at Purdue University. “As each ...
IT security starts with knowing your assets: Asia-Pacific
Technology

IT security starts with knowing your assets: Asia-Pacific

A perfect example of remote-work security challenges occurred when an NTUC employee accidentally downloaded malware onto a laptop he was using to access corporate files by plugging in a personal USB drive. “We received a security alert right away, but the remediation was tough,” recalls Loe. “We actually had to send a cybersecurity staffer to the employee’s house on a motorbike to retrieve the computer for investigation. In the past, we could protect the network by simply cutting off the employee’s laptop access. But when an employee is working from home, we can’t take the chance of losing any data over the internet.”Welcome to the new cybersecurity threat landscape, where 61% of organizations are increasing cybersecurity investment in the work-from-home pandemic era, according to a 2021 G...