CEO Jack Dorsey's departure from Twitter shows that, in Silicon Valley today, social media is becoming a field to flee, Axios reports. Fresh on the heels of Facebook's name change and new metaverse focus, Dorsey's resignation is another sign that the industry now views the massive social networks it built over the last two decades as buggy "legacy applications" mired in annoying social problems.
A longtime Twitter insider and a confidant of co-founder Jack Dorsey, Parag Agrawal, 37, takes over as the social media company confronts various challenges, the New York Times reports. Agrawal, the chief technology officer since 2017, is little known to the public, but behind the scenes, the India-born engineer has been involved in many of the company’s biggest strategic initiatives.
The estimated number of people who have gone online this year grew by 10 percent, to 4.9 billion, partially because of a “COVID connectivity boost." But some 2.9 billion people still have never used the internet, and 96 percent live in developing countries, a new United Nations report has found. Internet access is often unaffordable in poorer nations, and in the 46 least-developed countries almost three-quarters of people have never been online.
Thousands of networking devices belonging to AT&T Internet subscribers in the U.S. have been infected with malware that allows the devices to be used in denial-of-service attacks and attacks on internal networks, Ars Technica reports. The device model under attack is the EdgeMarc Enterprise Session Border Controller, which is used by small and midsize enterprises to secure and manage phone calls, video conferencing, and similar real-time communications.
Microsoft this week said companies can now buy a standalone version of Teams, a major player in work messaging and video chat, alongside Slack and Zoom, Protocol reports. Microsoft will charge small businesses $4 per user per month for Microsoft Teams Essentials, while Zoom’s cheapest paid plan is $14.99 per user per month and Slack’s is $6.67 per user each month.
Orders of robotic machinery have increased by 37 percent year over year, Inc. magazine reports. The reason: There just aren't enough workers to fill jobs. Automation can help small and midsize businesses cope with labor shortages, especially when robotics streamline otherwise inefficient tasks, but they need to avoid alienating existing employees.
Scientists say they have made a dramatic step forward in efforts to store information as molecules of DNA, the BBC reports. A team at Georgia Tech Research Institute has developed a chip that they say could improve on existing forms of DNA storage by a factor of 100. The data also would last thousands of years, they say.
To support its goals and revitalize neighborhoods, Baltimore’s Department of Housing and Community Development uses GIS and location data that keeps records up to date and transparent for all stakeholders, Government Technology reports. DHCD has developed a community planning layer on its CoDeMap platform that enables long-term, block-by-block planning.
From vaccine misinformation to random internet outages to yet another T-Mobile data breach, 2021 has had some bad tech days. A CNet commentary offers a list of the biggest tech fails of the year.
El Salvador plans to build the world's first "Bitcoin City" with money from a $1 billion bitcoin-backed bond, Reuters reports. Half of the $1 billion would be converted to bitcoin and the other half used for infrastructure and bitcoin mining. The new city will be powered with geothermal energy from a nearby volcano.