Policy

Bill Gates on COVID-19: Most US tests are “completely garbage”

Enlarge / Despite trillions of dollars of economic damage, Bill Gates is optimistic that a strong pipeline of therapies and vaccines will carry the US through the pandemic. Jeff Pachoud | Getty Images For 20 years Bill Gates has been easing out of the roles that made him rich and famous—CEO, chief software architect, and …

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Appeals court rules 10¢-a-page charge for court documents is too high

Enlarge Aurich Lawson / Getty Images A federal appeals court has ruled that the federal judiciary has been overcharging thousands of users for access to public court records. PACER, short for Public Access to Court Electronic Records, is an online system that allows members of the public (including Ars Technica reporters) to download documents related …

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Trump declares TikTok, WeChat “national emergency,” preps bans

Enlarge / If the Trump administration has its way, these logos will be scarce inside the US in a few weeks. Ivan Abreu | Bloomberg | Getty Images The White House’s campaign against the China-based developers of popular apps escalated dramatically in the last day, as President Donald Trump declared both TikTok and WeChat to …

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Insecure satellite Internet is threatening ship and plane safety

Enlarge Aurich Lawson / Getty Images More than a decade has passed since researchers demonstrated serious privacy and and security holes in satellite-based Internet services. The weaknesses allowed attackers to snoop on and sometimes tamper with data received by millions of users thousands of miles away. You might expect that in 2020—as satellite Internet has …

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ProtonMail founder: Apple uses monopoly to “hold all of us hostage”

Enlarge Aurich Lawson / Getty Images The developer behind secure email service ProtonMail today came out swinging against the way Apple allegedly uses its App Store to control access to iOS users and cut out competitors. The company is all but begging regulators to take stronger action. “Apple has become a monopoly, crushing potential competitors …

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SpaceX now plans for 5 million Starlink customers in US, up from 1 million

Enlarge / A SpaceX Starlink user terminal/satellite dish. SpaceX SpaceX has asked the US for permission to deploy up to 5 million user terminals for its Starlink satellite-broadband network in the US after nearly 700,000 people in the country registered interest in the service. SpaceX in March received a Federal Communications Commission license for up …

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What’s this? A bipartisan plan for AI and national security

Enlarge / Closeup of a Predator MQ-9 uncrewed aerial vehicle. Tobias Schwarz | Getty Images US Reps. Will Hurd and Robin Kelly are from opposite sides of the ever-widening aisle, but they share a concern that the United States may lose its grip on artificial intelligence, threatening the American economy and the balance of world …

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Florida teen charged as “mastermind” in Twitter hack hitting Biden, Bezos, and others

Enlarge Tom Raftery / Flickr Authorities on Friday charged three people with orchestrating this month’s epic hack of Twitter and using it to generate more than $100,000 in a bitcoin scam promoted by hijacked accounts of politicians, executives, and celebrities. Federal prosecutors in San Francisco charged Mason Sheppard, 19, Nima Fazeli, 22, and an unnamed …

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Telegram files EU antitrust complaint against Apple’s App Store

Enlarge Carl Court / Getty Images Telegram, the messaging app, has become the latest company to file a formal antitrust complaint to the EU over Apple’s App Store. In a complaint to EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager, Telegram, which has more than 400 million users, said Apple must “allow users to have the opportunity of …

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Zuckerberg wrote “Instagram can hurt us” days before acquisition

Enlarge / Mark Zuckerberg speaks via videoconference during a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing in Washington. Graeme Jennings/Washington Examiner/Bloomberg via Getty Images In a 2012 email six weeks before acquiring Instagram, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote that one of his motivations for the acquisition was to “neutralize a potential competitor.” The emails were revealed during today’s …

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