Technology

Want to Feel Bad? Ask TikTok How Old You Look.
Technology

Want to Feel Bad? Ask TikTok How Old You Look.

Cherri Gervais got her first gray hairs as a teenager.“It’s genetic,” she said.Her hair color, a striking shade of silver, is the first thing people on TikTok noticed when she asked them to tell her how old she looked in a recent video.The guesses ranged wildly. Many were correct, or close enough, Ms. Gervais said. (She turned 34 this month.) Other suggested she was in her 60s or 70s.Ms. Gervais, who lives in Kansas and works for a part-time beauty company, said she had decided to post her video after coming upon similar TikToks.“I saw someone Gen Z do it because they were saying Gen Z is aging faster,” she said, referring to a recent online theory arguing that teenagers and young adults are aging more rapidly and more visibly than their millennial counterparts.Her video is part of a trend...
Can a Tech Giant Be Woke?
Technology

Can a Tech Giant Be Woke?

The December day in 2021 that set off a revolution across the videogame industry appeared to start innocuously enough. Managers at a Wisconsin studio called Raven began meeting one by one with quality assurance testers, who vet video games for bugs, to announce that the company was overhauling their department. Going forward, managers said, the lucky testers would be permanent employees, not temps. They would earn an extra $1.50 an hour.It was only later in the morning, a Friday, that the catch became apparent: One-third of the studio’s roughly 35 testers were being let go as part of the overhaul. The workers were stunned. Raven was owned by Activision Blizzard, one of the industry’s largest companies, and there appeared to be plenty of work to go around. Several testers had just worked la...
A Marketplace of Girl Influencers Managed by Moms and Stalked by Men
Technology

A Marketplace of Girl Influencers Managed by Moms and Stalked by Men

The ominous messages began arriving in Elissa’s inbox early last year.“You sell pics of your underage daughter to pedophiles,” read one. “You’re such a naughty sick mom, you’re just as sick as us pedophiles,” read another. “I will make your life hell for you and your daughter.”Elissa has been running her daughter’s Instagram account since 2020, when the girl was 11 and too young to have her own. Photos show a bright, bubbly girl modeling evening dresses, high-end workout gear and dance leotards. She has more than 100,000 followers, some so enthusiastic about her posts that they pay $9.99 a month for more photos.Over the years, Elissa has fielded all kinds of criticism and knows full well that some people think she is exploiting her daughter. She has even gotten used to receiving creepy mes...
Instagram’s Uneasy Rise as a News Site
Technology

Instagram’s Uneasy Rise as a News Site

On a recent Wednesday in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood, Mosheh Oinounou, a former producer for CBS, Bloomberg News and Fox News, swiped through Instagram. He had started his morning reading major newspapers and more than a dozen newsletters. Then he spent much of the day turning many of the articles into posts on his Instagram account, under the handle Mo News.A Wall Street Journal story on aging Americans was relayed through a picture of a cake declaring, “Record Number of Americans Will Turn 65 This Year: Wealthy, Active, And Single.” At times, Mr. Oinounou, an affable 41-year-old, has also appeared on camera with the co-host of his daily news podcast to explain the significance of how Republican presidential candidates were polling and why President Biden was a write-in candidate in New...
Volkswagen Sees Electric Vehicles as a Way to Grow in the U.S.
Technology

Volkswagen Sees Electric Vehicles as a Way to Grow in the U.S.

Probably only Americans of a certain age remember when the Volkswagen Beetle was the best-selling imported car in the United States and the hippest ride to a Grateful Dead concert was a Volkswagen Microbus.Volkswagen is trying to tap some of that nostalgia in its latest push to regain the status and sales it enjoyed in the United States during the Beetle’s and Microbus’s heydays in the 1960s. But this time it hopes its top models will be electric.The German carmaker is second only to Toyota globally but is a niche player in the United States. Part of its plan to revive its fortunes here is to lean on a new electric model that resembles the Microbus, the ID.Buzz, and to revive the Scout brand with a line of electric pickups and sport utility vehicles.Last week, as giant earth movers kicked ...
‘Most Wanted’ Man Pleads Guilty in Cyberattack That Upended Vermont Hospital
Technology

‘Most Wanted’ Man Pleads Guilty in Cyberattack That Upended Vermont Hospital

A Ukrainian man pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday to his leadership role in two cyberattack schemes that caused tens of millions of dollars in losses and temporarily crippled a Vermont hospital in 2020, according to the Justice Department.Prosecutors said that Vyacheslav Igorevich Penchukov, 37, was a leader for an organization that in May 2009 began to infect thousands of computers at corporations with malicious software, and that he helped lead a separate malware scheme that began around November 2018.Mr. Penchukov, of Donetsk, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court in Nebraska to one count of conspiracy to commit an offense that violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He was arrested in Switzerland in...
The Antitrust Enforcers Aimed at Big Tech. Then Came the Backlash.
Technology

The Antitrust Enforcers Aimed at Big Tech. Then Came the Backlash.

The South Korean government unleashed a wave of panic across the internet industry: The country’s antitrust regulator said it would enact the toughest competition law outside Europe, curbing the influence of major technology companies.The Korea Fair Trade Commission, with the backing of President Yoon Suk Yeol, said in December that it planned to make a proposal modeled after the 2022 Digital Markets Act, the European Union’s landmark law to rein in American tech giants. This bill also seemed to target South Korea’s own internet conglomerates just as much as the Alphabets, Apples and Metas of the world.The commission said the law would designate certain companies as dominant platforms and limit their ability to use strongholds in one online business to expand into new areas.Then last week,...
U.S. Disrupts Hacking Operation Led by Russian Intelligence
Technology

U.S. Disrupts Hacking Operation Led by Russian Intelligence

The F.B.I., working with other countries, disrupted a Russian hacking operation that infiltrated more than 1,000 home and small-business internet routers in the United States and around the world, the Justice Department announced on Thursday.Russian intelligence, collaborating with cybercriminals, created a botnet, or a network of private computers infected with malicious software, to spy on military and security organizations and private corporations in countries like the United States.Using a court order, the F.B.I. secretly copied and deleted stolen data and malware from hacked routers. Doing this stopped Russia’s ability to use the routers without affecting how they function, officials said. The F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, shared details of the operation at an annual security...
SpaceX to Launch Intuitive Machines Nova-C Moon Lander: How to Watch
Technology

SpaceX to Launch Intuitive Machines Nova-C Moon Lander: How to Watch

Another month, another try at the moon.A robotic lunar lander is scheduled to launch in the early morning hours of Wednesday. If all goes well, it will become the first American spacecraft to set down softly on the moon’s surface since the Apollo 17 moon landing in 1972.It is also the latest private effort to send spacecraft to the moon. Earlier attempts have all ended in failure. But the company in charge of the latest effort, Intuitive Machines of Houston, is optimistic. “I feel fairly confident that we’re going to be successful softly touching down on the moon,” said Stephen Altemus, the president and chief executive of Intuitive Machines. “We’ve done the testing. We’ve tested and tested and tested. As much testing as we could do.”When is the launch and how can I watch?The Intuitive Mac...
When the Voice You Hear Is Not the Actor You See
Technology

When the Voice You Hear Is Not the Actor You See

In the darkest moments of a family tragedy, when the playwright Mona Pirnot couldn’t find the strength to verbalize her feelings to her boyfriend or her therapist, she tried something a little unorthodox: She typed her thoughts into her laptop, and prompted a text-to-speech program to voice them aloud.It was a coping mechanism that also sparked a creative pivot: Pirnot’s then-boyfriend, now-husband, Lucas Hnath, is also a playwright, with a longtime interest in sound and a more recent history of building shows around disembodied voices. His last play, “A Simulacrum,” featured a magician re-creating his side of a conversation with Hnath, whose voice was heard via a tape recording; and his play before that, “Dana H.,” featured an actress lip-syncing interviews in which the playwright’s mothe...