Technology

Switching to a Flip Phone Helped Me Cut Down on My Smartphone Addiction
Technology

Switching to a Flip Phone Helped Me Cut Down on My Smartphone Addiction

This time of year, everyone asks what you like least about your life, but they phrase it as, “What’s your New Year’s resolution?”My biggest regret of 2023 was my relationship to my smartphone, or my “tech appendage” as I’ve named it in my iPhone settings. My Apple Screen Time reports regularly clocked in at more than five hours a day.That’s only an hour more than the average American, but I still found it staggering to think that I spent the equivalent of January, February and half of March looking at that tiny screen (April too, if we only count waking hours).Sure, some (much?) of that time was gainfully spent on activities that enrich my life or are unavoidable: work, family text threads, reading the news and keeping up with far-flung friends. But I reached for the device more than 100 t...
U.S. Moves Closer to Filing Sweeping Antitrust Case Against Apple
Technology

U.S. Moves Closer to Filing Sweeping Antitrust Case Against Apple

The Justice Department is in the late stages of an investigation into Apple and could file a sweeping antitrust case taking aim at the company’s strategies to protect the dominance of the iPhone as soon as the first half of this year, said three people with knowledge of the matter.The agency is focused on how Apple has used its control over its hardware and software to make it more difficult for consumers to ditch the company’s devices, as well as for rivals to compete, said the people, who spoke anonymously because the investigation was active.Specifically, investigators have examined how the Apple Watch works better with the iPhone than with other brands, as well as how Apple locks competitors out of its iMessage service. They have also scrutinized Apple’s payments system for the iPhone,...
Museum World Hit by Cyberattack on Widely Used Software
Technology

Museum World Hit by Cyberattack on Widely Used Software

Several prominent museums have been unable to display their collections online since a cyberattack hit a prominent technological service provider that helps hundreds of cultural organizations show their works digitally and manage internal documents.The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Rubin Museum of Art in New York and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas were among the institutions confirming that their systems have experienced outages in recent days. The service provider, Gallery Systems, said in a recent message to clients, which was obtained by The New York Times, that it had noticed a problem on Dec. 28, when computers running its software became encrypted and could no longer operate. “We immediately took steps to isolate those systems and implemented measures to pre...
A Stunning Eclipse, a Moon Race and Other Space Events in 2024
Technology

A Stunning Eclipse, a Moon Race and Other Space Events in 2024

Crucial Events on the Path Back to the MoonNASA wants to put American astronauts on the moon’s surface in the years ahead with the Artemis III mission. Before that can happen, though, many things have to go right, and two of the most important are scheduled for 2024.The first is the Artemis II mission. NASA introduced the four astronauts of Artemis II last year. As soon as November, the four could travel around the moon and back. They would be the first humans to travel near the moon since 1972, when the Apollo 17 mission concluded. To fly in 2024, NASA will need to resolve issues with a heat shield on the astronauts’ spacecraft, as well as overcome other potential delays.The second hurdle is that the Orion capsule can only orbit the moon — it doesn’t land. Astronauts need another vehicle ...
Asian American Officials Cite Unfair Scrutiny and Lost Jobs in China Spy Tensions
Technology

Asian American Officials Cite Unfair Scrutiny and Lost Jobs in China Spy Tensions

When Thomas Wong set foot in the United States Embassy in Beijing this summer for a new diplomatic posting, it was vindication after years of battling the State Department over a perceived intelligence threat — himself.Diplomatic Security officers had informed him when he joined the foreign service more than a decade ago that they were banning him from working in China. In a letter, he said, they wrongly cited the vague potential for undue “foreign preference” and suggested he could be vulnerable to “foreign influence.”Mr. Wong had become a U.S. diplomat thinking that China was where he could have the greatest impact. He had grown up in a Chinese-speaking household and studied in the country. And as a graduate of West Point who had done an Army tour in the Balkans, he thought he had experi...
Need a Home for 80,000 Puzzles? Try an Italian Castle.
Technology

Need a Home for 80,000 Puzzles? Try an Italian Castle.

Meet the Millers, George and Roxanne, proprietors of the world’s largest collection of mechanical puzzles: physical objects that a puzzler holds and manipulates while seeking a solution. In total, the Miller collection — an accumulation of collections, and collections of collections — amounts to more than 80,000 puzzles. It comprises some five thousand Rubik’s Cubes, including a 2-by-2-by-2 rendering of Darth Vader’s head. And there are more than 7,000 wooden burr puzzles, such as the interlocking, polyhedral creations by Stewart Coffin, a Massachusetts puzzle maker; they evoke a hybrid of a pine cone and a snowflake and are Mr. Miller’s favorites. Mrs. Miller is fond of their 140 brass, bronze and gold puzzle sculptures by the Spanish artist Miguel Berrocal; Goliath, a male torso in 79 pi...
ChatGPT Helps, and Worries, Business Consultants, Study Finds
Technology

ChatGPT Helps, and Worries, Business Consultants, Study Finds

Last spring, when Karim Lakhani began testing how ChatGPT affected the work of elite business consultants, he thought they’d be delighted by the tool. In a preliminary study of two dozen workers, the language bot had helped them finish two hours’ worth of tasks in 20 minutes.“I assumed they, like me, would think, ‘Great! I can do so much more!” said Dr. Lakhani, a professor at the Harvard Business School.Instead, the consultants had feelings of unease. They appreciated that they had done better work in less time. But ChatGPT’s quick work threatened their sense of themselves as high-skilled workers, and some feared relying on it too much. “They were really worried and felt like this was going to denigrate them and be sort of empty calories for their brain,” Dr. Lakhani said.After these prel...
Apple’s Newest Headache: An App That Upended Its Control Over Messaging
Technology

Apple’s Newest Headache: An App That Upended Its Control Over Messaging

For years, Ben Black’s phone annoyed his family. It was the only Android device in a family message group with eight iPhones. Because of him, videos and photos would arrive in low resolution and there would be green bubbles of text amid bubbles of blue.But a new app called Beeper Mini gave him the ability to change that.Mr. Black, 25, used the app to create an account for Apple’s messaging service, iMessage, with his Google Pixel phone number. For the first time, every message the family exchanged had a blue bubble and members were able to use perks like emojis and animations.Since it was introduced on Dec. 5, Beeper Mini has quickly become a headache and potential antitrust problem for Apple. It has poked a hole in Apple’s messaging system, while critics say it has demonstrated how Apple ...
Suit Against Twitter Over Unpaid Bonuses Gets Go-Ahead From Judge
Technology

Suit Against Twitter Over Unpaid Bonuses Gets Go-Ahead From Judge

A federal judge on Friday gave the go-ahead to a lawsuit against the social media company X, formerly known as Twitter, in which workers claim that the company promised but never paid millions of dollars in bonuses.In June, Mark Schobinger, a former senior director of compensation for Twitter who lives in Texas, sued the company, claiming breach of contract under California law. The company has its headquarters in San Francisco.Mr. Schobinger said that both before and after the billionaire Elon Musk bought Twitter last year, the company had orally promised employees 50 percent of their 2022 targeted bonuses if they stayed with the company in the first quarter of 2023. However, the bonuses were never paid, according to the suit.Mr. Schobinger filed the suit on his own behalf and on behalf o...
Substack Says It Will Not Ban Nazis or Extremist Speech
Technology

Substack Says It Will Not Ban Nazis or Extremist Speech

Under pressure from critics who say Substack is profiting from newsletters that promote hate speech and racism, the company’s founders said Thursday that they would not ban Nazi symbols and extremist rhetoric from the platform.“I just want to make it clear that we don’t like Nazis either — we wish no one held those views,” Hamish McKenzie, a co-founder of Substack, said in a statement. “But some people do hold those and other extreme views. Given that, we don’t think that censorship (including through demonetizing publications) makes the problem go away — in fact, it makes it worse.”The response came weeks after The Atlantic found that at least 16 Substack newsletters had “overt Nazi symbols” in their logos or graphics, and that white supremacists had been allowed to publish on, and profit...