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Russian hackers found targeting US election; robots that write?

Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of WIRED, helps us make sense of today's stories in technology:

What are the Russians doing to the US election?

Well, they are trying to hack it. They're trying to hack into the accounts of individuals working on campaigns. They're trying to hack into accounts of nonprofit organizations. They're trying to mess it all up again. They're probably trying to help their favorite candidate, too. How did we find out about it? Well, Microsoft, thank you Microsoft, is running an election security operation and they noticed this. Now, have they found everything that the Russian group Fancy Bear is doing? I highly doubt it. We'll probably learn a lot more after the election, unfortunately.

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Announcing a new livestream series, “The UN General Assembly: Connecting Through Crisis”

GZERO Media, in partnership with Microsoft and Eurasia Group, is proud to announce a series of livestream panels, featuring global experts discussing the most pressing issues facing the 75th United Nations General Assembly.

The 2020 UN General Assembly: Connecting Through Crisis

  • Net Zero: Climate Ambition and Action: Wednesday, September 16th, 12:30p ET/9:30a PT/5:30p BST
    • Julia Pyper, Host and Producer, Political Climate podcast (moderator)
    • Gerald Butts, Vice Chairman & Senior Advisor, Eurasia Group
    • Lucas Joppa, Chief Environmental Officer, Microsoft
    • Rachel Kyte, Dean of The Fletcher School, Tufts University
    • Mark Carney, Finance Adviser to the UK Prime Minister for COP 26 and UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance

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Ensuring access to technology for all is critical during a pandemic

Kevin Sneader, Global Managing Partner at McKinsey, shares his perspective on corporate business leadership on Business In 60 Seconds:

How can technology be a force for good?

Well, we've been living through a pandemic where in many ways, technology has come to the rescue. Imagine how society, business, and communities would have fared if technology had not been up to the challenge that we've all been facing. In health, artificial intelligence is accelerating the development of vaccines. Analytics are providing us new ways to set about all tasks that confront us in this next normal. Education, while remote schooling is far from perfect, but it has helped millions of children get an education when otherwise they would have not been able to gain one. And even in inclusion, technology has enabled flexibility for those desperately in need of it, when they cannot go to the office, they cannot go to the manufacturing facility. And in the environments case, emissions have been reduced by applying technology to bring people together, where airlines no longer travel. So, the challenge now, how to bridge the divide between those who have access to technology and those who do not. That is really the challenge and one to which I will return, because the answer to the question of can technology be a force for good has been resoundingly answered. The question now is how to ensure everyone has access to it.

Is the US in a Cold War with China?

On the latest episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer, Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief of The Economist, explains why, in her view, Cold War analogies fall short as tensions between the US and China rise. Unlike the former Soviet Union, China is an economic powerhouse and a trade partner and technology provider to nations around the world. Simply cutting off ties with China seems untenable, but, as she asks, "How can you safely continue that integration, continue that interaction, with a country whose ideology you absolutely don't share, and that you fundamentally don't trust." The full episode of GZERO World begins airing on US public television on Friday, July 31, 2020. Check local listings.

What the tech antitrust hearing did and did not prove

Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of WIRED, discusses technology industry news today:


What happened at the antitrust hearings this week?

Well, CEOs of Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook testified in front of the Subcommittee in Antitrust of the House Judiciary Committee for five hours. There's a fair amount of nonsense and conspiracy talk, but mostly it was a pretty good hearing where the House members dug into questions about whether four companies abused their market positions to their advantage? Whether they used predatory pricing to drive competitors out of the market? Whether they used inside information from their services to identify and then copy and kill competitors? And the evidence that was presented, if I were to sum it up quickly, is, yes, they did do that. They did abuse their market power. But what wasn't presented was clear evidence of consumer harm. We know they acted in ways that distorted capitalism, but were people really hurt? That's a big question. I look forward to their report.

Twitter bans QAnon; CRISPR gene tech

Nicholas Thompson, Editor-in-chief of WIRED, provides his perspective on technology news:

Twitter has said it will knockout QAnon. How will that work out?

QAnon is a strange, mysterious, far-right conspiracy theory. Twitter removing it will actually make a difference. It's very easy to say, "oh, we'll just migrate to Facebook or elsewhere," and that is partly true, but Twitter is a central node in how the conspiracy theory is spread. Remove it, and it will spread more slowly.

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Twitter hack mystery; does two-factor authentication make you safe?

Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of WIRED, helps us make sense of today's stories in technology:

Whoa Twitter! What happened this week?

Well, on Wednesday, a whole bunch of prominent Twitter accounts, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Apple, started tweeting out a Bitcoin scam. The same one. It said, "send money to this address and we'll send you back twice as much." Clearly a fraud. But what was interesting about it is that it wasn't like one account that had been compromised. A whole bunch of accounts have been compromised. Meaning most likely someone got access to a control panel at Twitter. The big mystery is how they got access to it? And why, if they had so much power, all they did was run a stupid Bitcoin scam?

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Facebook civil rights audit; TikTok in Hong Kong

Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of WIRED, provides his perspective on technology news:

Will the new audit of Facebook civil rights practices change the way the company operates?

Yes. It came under a lot of pressure from civil rights activists who organized an advertising boycott. And then an internal audit on Facebook's effect on civil rights came out. It was quite critical. Those two things, one after the other, will surely lead to changes at the company.

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