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The Technology 202: Big Tech went big on lobbying spending – and privacy advocates are concerned - The Washington Post, Jan 2019
Five of the largest U.S. tech companies poured a combined $64.2 million into federal lobbying efforts last year, according to new ethics reports. That's a more than 10 percent increase over their record-setting 2017 spending.
WashingtonPost  lobbying 
9 weeks ago by pierredv
China’s Huawei bigfooted U.S. companies in 5G technology - The Washington Post apr 2019
"As U.S. officials have pressured allies not to use networking gear from Chinese technology giant Huawei over spying concerns, President Trump has urged American companies to “step up” and compete to provide the next generation of high-speed, low-lag wireless service known as 5G.

There’s just one problem: Barely any U.S. companies manufacture the technology’s most critical components."

"... four companies, Sweden’s Ericsson, Finland’s Nokia and China’s Huawei and ZTE, account for two-thirds of the global market for telecom equipment, according to analyst estimates."

"Motorola and Lucent’s wireless infrastructure businesses were soon gobbled up by Finland’s Nokia and France’s Alcatel, respectively. One reason the European companies proved so successful, Entner said, was because the European industry agreed from the start to develop a common standard for wireless communication, known as GSM, that all European telecoms would share."

"To give another perspective on Huawei’s enormous influence, the company’s chief rivals, Nokia and Ericsson, account for 17 percent and 13 percent of the global market for telecom equipment, respectively, according to figures compiled by the research firm Dell’Oro Group.

Huawei’s market share, at 29 percent, is nearly as large as both of them combined."

"As Huawei has invested in its own research and development, even Western telecom companies acknowledge that Huawei’s products are as good as — if not better than — competing equipment from Nokia or Ericsson."

"With the support of China’s state-owned development bank, Huawei also has been able to undercut competitors with attractive financing for its products. "

"It doesn’t hurt that Huawei serves a massive domestic market in China, which grants it tremendous advantages of scale that many tech companies, including American ones, are hungry to access themselves."
5G  Huawei  WashingtonPost 
april 2019 by pierredv
Hospital viruses: Fake cancerous nodes in CT scans, created by malware, trick radiologists - The Washington Post, Apr 2019
"But what if the scan had shown faked cancerous nodules, placed there by malware exploiting vulnerabilities in widely used CT and MRI scanning equipment? Researchers in Israel say they have developed such malware to draw attention to serious security weaknesses in critical medical imaging equipment used for diagnosing conditions and the networks that transmit those images — vulnerabilities that could have potentially life-altering consequences if unaddressed."

"Mirsky said the attack works because hospitals don’t digitally sign the scans to prevent them from being altered without detection and don’t use encryption on their PACS networks, allowing an intruder on the network to see the scans and alter them."
WashingtonPost  cybersecurity  healthcare  vulnerability 
april 2019 by pierredv
Massive new study traces how corporations use charitable donations to tilt regulations in their favor - The Washington Post Jan 2019
new research from Marianne Bertrand at the University of Chicago and others

"The data set compiled by the researchers demonstrates three crucial findings: First, after a firm donates to a nonprofit organization, that group becomes more likely to comment on rules that the firm has also commented on. Second, the organization’s comments in those cases have more similarities with the firm’s comments than with comments from other nonprofit organizations not receiving money from the firm. And finally, when a firm and its grantees comment on a rule together, regulators' final remarks on the rule are more likely to be in line with the firm’s comments on the rule."

"To draw these conclusions, Bertrand and her colleagues first identified 629 charitable foundations operated by 474 firms appearing on the Fortune 500 or Standard & Poor’s 500 composite index lists at any point from 1995 to 2016. Using IRS data, they then identified all 225,180 nonprofit entities receiving gifts of greater than $5,000 from these charitable foundations from 1998 to 2015. Next they pulled the complete set of public comments on proposed rules submitted to regulations.gov between 2003 and 2016. They were then able to identify not only when individual corporations commented on a proposed rule, but also when nonprofit organizations that firm had donated to commented on the same rule."

"They found that when a firm donates to a nonprofit group, it’s associated with a two- to four-fold increase in the likelihood that the nonprofit group will comment on the same proposed rule as the firm. "

"researchers found that when a nonprofit organization comments on a rule that a donor company also comments on, the language of the comments tends to mirror each other. "
WashingtonPost  regulation  lobbying  charity  nonprofit 
january 2019 by pierredv
How spies can use your cellphone to find you – and eavesdrop on your calls and texts, too - The Washington Post, May 2018
"The letter [from the Department of Homeland Security to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)], dated May 22 and obtained by The Washington Post, described surveillance systems that tap into a global messaging system that allows cellular customers to move from network to network as they travel. The decades-old messaging system, called SS7, has little security, allowing intelligence agencies and some criminal gangs to spy on unwitting targets — based on nothing more than their cellphone numbers."

"Researchers say that SS7 tracking systems around the world now create millions of “malicious queries” — meaning messages seeking unauthorized access to user information — each month."

"Firewalls installed by carriers in recent years block many of the malicious queries, but many others are successful in eliciting unauthorized information from cellular carriers worldwide."

"Criminals last year used SS7 to intercept security codes that a bank texted to its customers in Germany, allowing the criminals to steal money from accounts, according to news reports."

"Carriers worldwide have gradually added better security, but SS7 does not have any way to verify that carriers sending data requests are who they claim to be. The firewalls increasingly installed by carriers, meanwhile, protect their own customers but typically not people who are roaming on the network, said Engel, the German researcher who first reported the security and privacy risks of SS7."

"DHS, which declined to comment for this article, issued a report on SS7 cellphone security in April 2017 that noted the risk to federal personnel"

"The DHS report recommended that carriers adopt new protections. An FCC group, the Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperabilty Council, issued recommendations for improving SS7 security in March 2017 that U.S. carriers have largely adopted

CSRIC recos, see https://api.ctia.org/docs/default-source/default-document-library/ss7-statement-2017-final.pdf

FCC, Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council,
WORKING GROUP 10: Legacy Systems Risk Reductions Final Report(Mar. 2017) https://www.fcc.gov/file/12153/download.
WashingtonPost  cybersecurity  cellular  cyber-spectrum  SS7  crime 
december 2018 by pierredv
As Elon Musk antagonized rival, the space industry battled over who will host a cocktail reception for the vice president - The Washington Post, Feb 2018
“Ahead of the second meeting of the White House’s National Space Council in Florida next week, a consortium of upstart entrepreneurial companies known as the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, which includes SpaceX, decided to host a reception for members of the council . . . . But when the groups representing some of the more traditional space contractors, such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin, caught wind of the party, they complained to the White House, which agreed that they, too, should host the reception.”

The party “is now being hosted by the Aerospace Industries Association, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, as well as the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.”
WashingtonPost  space  commerce 
february 2018 by pierredv
Drones keep entering no-fly zones over Washington, raising security concerns - The Washington Post Jan 2018
"Drones inhabit a curious space in U.S. law, making them particularly difficult to regulate. They have been deemed “aircraft,” just like a Boeing 787, so they can’t simply be knocked from the sky. Sometimes dubbed “flying laptops,” they also are covered by laws against wiretapping and computer hacking. And most drones are categorized as “model aircraft,” but Congress has said the Federal Aviation Administration generally can’t issue regulations covering those."
WashingtonPost  drones  regulation 
january 2018 by pierredv
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to invest $1 billion in Richard Branson’s space companies - The Washington Post Oct 2017
"For decades, space travel was seen as a risky investment, one that venture capitalists shied away from. But recently, the commercial space industry has attracted a growing number of investors that now includes the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia, which announced Thursday it plans to invest $1 billion in Richard Branson's portfolio of space companies."

"The move is another indication of increasing confidence in the industry. Two years ago, Google and Fidelity announced they were investing $1 billion in Elon Musk's SpaceX. Since 2000, more than $10 billion has been invested in start-up space ventures, two-thirds of which has been in the past five years, according to Bryce Space and Technology, a consulting firm."
WashingtonPost  NewSpace  RichardBranson  SaudiArabia  VirginGalactic  VC  investing 
november 2017 by pierredv
Companies flood Earth’s orbit with satellites, but no one’s directing traffic - The Washington Post
via Phil Larson
"In the past five years, the number of operational satellites has jumped 40 percent, and nearly 1,400 now orbit the planet. And industry officials say the number could more than double in five years as a revolution in technology makes satellites smaller and more affordable."

"But U.S. officials are concerned about all the traffic in space and the lack of oversight. Although the Pentagon tracks objects orbiting the globe and warns of close approaches, it does not have the power to order an operator to move a satellite out of the way to avoid a collision."

"But U.S. officials are concerned about all the traffic in space and the lack of oversight. Although the Pentagon tracks objects orbiting the globe and warns of close approaches, it does not have the power to order an operator to move a satellite out of the way to avoid a collision.

Some members of Congress say a civilian agency, such as the Federal Aviation Administration, should be made responsible for managing satellite traffic. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) has led that effort..."

"Some observers were skeptical of leaving it to satellite companies to regulate themselves and work together to stop collisions."

"Bridenstine is also wary of self-regulation. If a company knew, for example, that there was a 1-in-10,000 chance of a collision, he said, it might decide to live with that level of risk and not perform a costly maneuver"
WashingtonPost  satellite  tracking  SIA 
may 2017 by pierredv
This is actually what America would look like without gerrymandering - The Washington Post
"From a technological standpoint it's fairly straightforward -- a software engineer in Massachusetts named Brian Olson wrote an algorithm to do it in his spare time. As I described it in 2014, Olson's algorithm creates "optimally compact" equal-population congressional districts in each state, based on 2010 census data."
politics  usa  gerrymandering  WashingtonPost 
january 2016 by pierredv
The A.I. Anxiety - Washington Post, Dec 2015
"Big-name scientists worry that runaway artificial intelligence could pose a threat to humanity. Beyond the speculation is a simple question: Are we fully in control of our technology?"
WashingtonPost  AI  Nick-Bostrom 
january 2016 by pierredv
Bring back the serialized novel - The Washington Post - Hillary Kelly
"More than 150 years later [after Dickens], the publishing industry is in the doldrums, yet the novel shows few signs of digging into its past and resurrecting the techniques that drove fans wild and juiced sales figures. The novel is now decidedly a single object, a mass entity packaged and moved as a whole. That’s not, of course, a bad thing, but it does create a barrier to entry that the publishing world can’t seem to overcome. Meanwhile, consumers gladly gobble up other media in segments — whether it’s a “Walking Dead” episode, a series of Karl Ove Knausgaard ’s travelogues or a public-radio show (it’s called “Serial” for a reason, people) — so there’s reason to believe they would do the same with fiction. What the novel needs again is tension. And the best source for that tension is serialization."
writing  WashingtonPost  novels 
april 2015 by pierredv
The rich get government handouts just like the poor. Here are 10 of them. - The Washington Post
"In case you are still skeptical that many of the non-poor — and, in fact, a lot of the rich — receive benefits from government, too (for which we don't make them pee in a cup or promise not to buy luxuries), we've rounded up some more examples below."
WashingtonPost  politics  welfare  poverty 
april 2015 by pierredv
‘A Most Imperfect Union,’ a retelling of U.S. history by Ilan Stavans and Lalo Alcaraz - The Washington Post
-- “Enough with the dead white men!” So goes the opening salvo from a Mexican-born Jewish immigrant and a California cartoonist of Latino descent in “A Most Imperfect Union: A Contrarian History of the United States.” This illustrated reexamination of a continent’s “conquering” aims to turn schoolhouse narratives into academic-canon fodder. Just in time for Independence Day, Amherst College professor Ilan Stavans and “La Cucaracha” comic creator Lalo Alcaraz have come to make a statement against the republic’s accepted pale-male tales by intellectually dumping all those dog-eared capital-T Textbooks into our national waters. Their new battle cry: Out with the old; in with the red, nonwhite and blue. --
WashingtonPost  history  US  cartoons  cartoon 
february 2015 by pierredv
‘If you’re trying and not succeeding, the welfare system today gives you basically nothing’
"The distinction [between the deserving and undeserving poor] is an old one ... But exactly who we're talking about as deserving of help in America has changed with time. And, as a result, our welfare system now no longer primarily serves the poor who are most in need of aid, research [by Robert Moffitt, an economist at Johns Hopkins University] suggests." "Politicians are fond of saying that welfare spending in America has ballooned over this time. Researchers often counter that the government has in fact grown less generous with the poor. Moffitt finds that, in a sense, both are true: Spending on welfare programs has expanded, but increasingly, it's not the worst-off who are on the receiving end."
economics  politics  welfare  poverty  WashingtonPost 
may 2014 by pierredv
The Middle East, explained in one (sort of terrifying) chart - Aug 2013
Sir, Iran is backing Assad. Gulf states are against Assad! Assad is against Muslim Brotherhood. Muslim Brotherhood and Obama are against General Sisi. But Gulf states are pro-Sisi! Which means they are against Muslim Brotherhood! Iran is pro-Hamas, but Hamas is backing Muslim Brotherhood! Obama is backing Muslim Brotherhood, yet Hamas is against the U.S.! Gulf states are pro-U.S. But Turkey is with Gulf states against Assad; yet Turkey is pro-Muslim Brotherhood against General Sisi. And General Sisi is being backed by the Gulf states! Welcome to the Middle East and have a nice day. KN Al-Sabah, London EC4, U.K.
politics  visualization  WashingtonPost  letter  middle-east 
august 2013 by pierredv
We’re using a ton of mobile data. With Google Glass, we’re about to use a whole lot more. July 2013
"A massive uptick in the demand for wireless data will, in turn, add more congestion to the airwaves carrying those signals.... As anyone who’s spent time in airports or coffee shops will know, Wi-Fi networks in these public spaces can become pretty congested at peak hours."
WashingtonPost  wireless  congestion  Wi-Fi  Google  Greg-Rosston 
july 2013 by pierredv
In rural Tennessee, a new way to help hungry children: A bus turned bread truck - The Washington Post
"Here, in the rural hills of Tennessee, is the latest fallout of a recession that officially ended in 2009 but remains without end for so many. More than 1 in 4 children now depend on government food assistance, a record level of need that has increased the federal budget and changed the nature of childhood for the nation’s poor."
hunger  school  meals  USA  WashingtonPost 
july 2013 by pierredv
Cyber search engine exposes vulnerabilities - The Washington Post
"After tinkering with code for nearly a decade, Matherly eventually developed a way to map and capture the specifications of everything from desktop computers to network printers to Web servers. He called his fledgling search engine Shodan, and in late 2009 he began asking friends to try it out. He had no inkling it was about to alter the balance of security in cyberspace." "Homeland security officials have warned that the obscurity that had protected many industrial control systems was fast dis­appearing in a flood of digital light."
Siemens  NERC  cybersecurity  cybers  search  SCADA  computing  WashingtonPost  security 
december 2012 by pierredv
In Japan, fax machines find a final place to thrive - The Washington Post
"Japan’s continued fax devotion may be an endearing quirk, what with the country’s reputation as a high-tech playland, all bright lights and flawless trains and chirping micro-devices. But it may also represent a deeper sign of the nation’s inability to change and to accommodate global standards, even as it cedes economic ground to Asian rivals such as China and South Korea."
culture  technology  Japan  WashingtonPost 
june 2012 by pierredv
DOJ review of flawed FBI forensics processes lacked transparency - The Washington Post
"A Washington Post review of the department’s actions shows an agency struggling to balance its goal of defending convictions in court with its responsibility to protect the innocent. The Justice Department’s decision to allow prosecutors to decide what to disclose to defendants was criticized at the time and allowed most of the process to remain secret. But by cloaking cases in anonymity, failing to ensure that defendants were notified of troubles with their cases, and neglecting to publicly report problems or recommend solutions, the task force obscured problems from further study. "
justice  injustice  USA  WashingtonPost  ** 
april 2012 by pierredv
In South Carolina, a window on an ideologically polarized news market - The Washington Post Jan 2012
"The news audience is so polarized that even when consumers look for more entertaining sorts of news, such as travel or sports stories, they tend to choose sources that match their political leanings — conservatives to Fox News and liberals to National Public Radio, for example — according to a study by professors at Stanford and UCLA that dubbed this phenomenon “selective exposure.” "
politics  media  news  journalism  polarization  WashingtonPost 
january 2012 by pierredv
Richest and ‘poorest’ members of Congress - The Washington Post
"Members of Congress with the highest and lowest net worth in 2010, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics based on disclosures filed by the lawmakers."
photography  people  politics  USA  WashingtonPost  money  lobbying 
december 2011 by pierredv
NTSB urges nationwide ban on cellphone use while driving - The Washington Post
"Nine states and the District require drivers to use hands-free devices, although several recent authoritative studies have concluded that use of hands-free equipment does not make drivers any less distracted than they might be if the phone were pressed to their ear."
cellular  safety  driving  WashingtonPost 
december 2011 by pierredv
Cyber-intruder sparks response, debate - The Washington Post Nov 2011
story of malware, and Federal response to Sep 2008 incident "Like the running debates over the use of drones and other evolving military technologies, rapid advances in computing capability are forcing complex deliberations over the appropriate use of new tools and weapons. " p. 2: "One likely scenario is that an American soldier, official or contractor in Afghanistan — where the largest number of infections occurred — went to an Internet cafe, used a thumb drive in an infected computer and then inserted the drive in a classified machine." p. 3: "Questions over the role of offense in cybersecurity deterrence began in the 1990s, if not earlier, said Martin Libicki, a Rand Corp. cyberwarfare expert. One reason it is so difficult to craft rules, he said, is the tendency to cast cyberwar as “good, old-fashioned war in yet another domain.” Another reason ... is the overlap between cybersecurity operations and the classified world of intelligence."
usa  cyberwar  russia  security  cybersecurity  WashingtonPost  * 
december 2011 by pierredv
For Obama’s green-car revolution, fits and starts - The Washington Post Nov 2011
"The Obama administration has poured roughly $5 billion in taxpayer funds into the electric-car industry, offering incentives to manufacturers, their suppliers and even car buyers who might want to go green. But analysts say the risk is rising that taxpayers in many cases will not see a return on their money soon, if ever. Instead, they warn that some federally subsidized companies could be forced to shut down in coming months."
politics  usa  subsidy  energy  taxes  WashingtonPost 
december 2011 by pierredv
Energy Department couldn’t manage stimulus money, watchdog says - The Federal Eye - The Washington Post
"In several of his investigations, Friedman has noted that the political push to quickly create jobs and spur economic development didn’t match up with economic realities on the ground. And while he credits the department for making significant progress in distributing the federal aid, 45 percent of stimulus dollars distributed by Energy still hadn’t been spent by state and local government as of Oct. 22. "
politics  USA  WashingtonPost  spending 
november 2011 by pierredv
Vitamin E boosts prostate cancer risk, study finds - The Washington Post
"Large daily doses of vitamin E, long touted as a virtual wonder drug that could protect against cancer, heart disease, dementia and other ailments, increase the risk for prostate cancer among middle-aged men, according to a large federal study released Tuesday."
VitaminE  vitamins  WashingtonPost  health  research  supplements 
october 2011 by pierredv
GOP decries FCC’s conditional approval of LightSquared wireless plan - The Washington Post Sep 2011
political ramifications: "Republicans questioned Thurs­day why the Federal Communications Commission fast-tracked an initial approval for a company — well-connected among Democrats — to provide cellphone service through satellites, a technology that other agencies say disrupts Global Positioning System devices, hurricane-tracking systems, and military and commercial airlines." "Agency officials, including Chairman Julius Genachowski, have touted the ambitions of LightSquared, a $14 billion venture financed by billionaire Philip Falcone, saying the company will create thousands of jobs. . . The venture also seemed to support the Obama administration’s goals to spread mobile broadband service to more Americans. While the FCC considered LightSquared’s plans, Falcone donated huge sums to the Democratic Party and met with White House officials — facts reported in July by the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News."
LightSquared  GPS  fcc  politics  Congress  WashingtonPost 
september 2011 by pierredv
F-16 pilot was ready to give her life on Sept. 11 - The Washington Post
"Late in the morning of the Tuesday that changed everything, Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney was on a runway at Andrews Air Force Base and ready to fly. She had her hand on the throttle of an F-16 and she had her orders: Bring down United Airlines Flight 93. The day’s fourth hijacked airliner seemed to be hurtling toward Washington. Penney, one of the first two combat pilots in the air that morning, was told to stop it. The one thing she didn’t have as she roared into the crystalline sky was live ammunition. Or missiles. Or anything at all to throw at a hostile aircraft. Except her own plane. So that was the plan."
war  911  military  terrorism  WashingtonPost 
september 2011 by pierredv
A decade after the 9/11 attacks, Americans live in an era of endless war - The Washington Post
Today, radical religious ideologies, new technologies and cheap, powerful weapons have catapulted the world into “a period of persistent conflict,” according to the Pentagon’s last major assessment of global security. “No one should harbor the illusion that the developed world can win this conflict in the near future,” the document concludes.
war  trend  USA  WashingtonPost 
september 2011 by pierredv
Ezra Klein - Giving is personal. Make it political.
The fact that government has a necessary role doesn't mean charities don't. But given what government can do - and what charities can't do - it's unwise to just leave the heavy lifting to philanthropies and hope for the best. "The fact that government has a necessary role doesn't mean charities don't. But given what government can do - and what charities can't do - it's unwise to just leave the heavy lifting to philanthropies and hope for the best." "they act as force multipliers. If you donate money to a food bank, it can provide only as much food as your money can buy. If you donate it to a nonprofit that specializes in food policy issues, it can persuade legislators to pass a new program - or reform an existing one - that can do much more than any single food bank."
philanthropy  WashingtonPost 
november 2010 by pierredv

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