It's Easy to Hack, and the U.S. Has No Backup
Hackers can jam or spoof GPS signals without complicated or expensive technology and without the need for deep training, Scientific American reports. This puts at risk airliners, electric grids, the stock market and other systems that rely on GPS. Yet while many countries have a ground-based backup system that is difficult to jam or spoof, the U.S. has never built one.
Tech That Died This Decade
Moviepass, AIM, and Vine are only three of the apps, devices and tech companies that did not make it to the end of the 2010s. This Business Insider video takes a nostalgic look back at some of the tech that died in this decade.
The High End of Apple's New Mac Pro
Apple's new Mac Pro starts at $5,999, but a fully maxed-out model will set you back quite a bit more, PC Magazine reports. Sales of the new Mac Pro went live this week, and according to Apple's website, a top-of-the-line unit will cost $53,247.98. With the display and accessories, the new Mac Pro will cost you $60,444.98.
Chrome 79 Arrives with New Security Features
Google this week released Chrome 79 for Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, and iOS users, ZDNet reports. This release comes with security and bug fixes, but also with new features such as built-in support for the Password Checkup tool and real-time blacklisting of malicious sites.
Twitter Eyes an Open Standard for Social Networks
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted on Wednesday that his company is funding an effort to build an open source, decentralized social network that Twitter would ultimately become one of many services users could interact with. Axios says it's a bold move that could broaden the reach of Twitter's network, but it could also open the door for direct competitors.
N.Y. Regulator Proposes New Framework for Crypto Coin Listings
New York’s financial regulator on Wednesday proposed a plan that would allow licensed virtual currency firms that already have approval for coin listings to introduce new coins without additional permission, Reuters reports. The Department of Financial Services is asking for the public’s input about the plan.
A 10-Second Video Tops the TikTok 100
TikTok has released its TikTok 100, featuring the most popular viral posts and creators in 2019. The year’s top viral video—barely 10 seconds long—belongs to TikTok influencer David Dobrik, who has 6.6 million followers, Ad Age reports. The video depicts a crazy idea gone wrong: an attempt to create elephant toothpaste in a bizarre science experiment. The post received 17.4 million likes and more than 87,700 comments.
What Google Searchers Asked in 2019
Google's annual Year in Search report includes the top search term (Disney Plus) but also the most popular questions users asked, Mashable reports. The No. 1 query was: "What is Area 51?" Others in the "What is...?" top 10 included "VSCO girl," "momo" and "boomer."
Tech to Take on the Slopes
There’s never been so much technology to help skiers optimize their time on the mountain, the New York Times reports. The offerings range from dedicated powder predictors to artificial intelligence-generated, Olympic-level ski instruction.
A new environmental technology makes paper mostly out of reused rubble from quarries and construction, CNet reports. The paper is waterproof, durable and more environmentally friendly. However, because it's waterproof, the wet ink of fountain pens and felt-tip pens is a problem.