The chip shortage is driving up tech prices–starting with TVs

Enlarge (credit: Bloomberg | Getty Images) Televisions, laptops, and tablets have been in high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people worked and learned via Zoom, socialized over Skype, and binged on Netflix to alleviate the lockdown blues. But all that extra screen time also helped set in motion a semiconductor supply crunch that is causing prices for some gadgets to spike—starting with TVs. In recent months, the price of larger TV … [Read more...]

Colonial Pipeline paid a $5 million ransom—and kept a vicious cycle turning

Enlarge (credit: Sean Rayford | Getty Images) Nearly a week after a ransomware attack led Colonial Pipeline to halt fuel distribution on the East Coast, reports emerged on Friday that the company paid a 75 bitcoin ransom—worth as much as $5 million, depending on the time of payment—in an attempt to restore service more quickly. And while the company was able to restart operations Wednesday night, the decision to give in to hackers' demands will … [Read more...]

Pipeline attacker Darkside suddenly goes dark—here’s what we know

Enlarge Darkside—the ransomware group that disrupted gasoline distribution across a wide swath of the US this week—has gone dark, leaving it unclear if the group is ceasing, suspending, or altering its operations or is simply orchestrating an exit scam. On Thursday, all eight of the dark web sites Darkside used to communicate with the public went down, and they remain down as of publication time. Overnight, a post attributed to Darkside … [Read more...]

Researchers force two mice to hang out and induce FOMO in a third

Enlarge (credit: David Aubrey) Since its advent in 2005, a technique called optogenetics has made it vastly easier to link neural activity with behavior and to understand how neurons and brain regions are connected to each other. Neuroscientists just pick the (animal) neurons they’re interested in, genetically engineer them to express a light-responsive protein, and then stimulate them with the right type of light. This technique can be used to … [Read more...]

Despite big Marvel and Star Wars shows, Disney+ falls short of targets

Enlarge / Meta-sitcom/adventure series WandaVision was one of Disney+'s most successful recent shows. (credit: YouTube/Disney+) Analysts expected Disney+ to reach 109 million subscribers in Disney's most recent financial quarter, but the streaming service fell short, landing at 103.6 million. The shortfall resulted in lower revenues than expected for the company and a small stock price stumble. Alongside word that Netflix also saw fairly slow … [Read more...]

ISPs claim broadband prices aren’t too high—Biden admin isn’t buying it

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Guirong Hao) Biden administration officials are not convinced by the broadband industry's claims that Internet prices aren't too high, according to a report today by Axios. The White House announced on March 31 that President Biden "is committed to working with Congress to find a solution to reduce Internet prices for all Americans." Though Biden hasn't revealed exactly how he intends to reduce prices, the … [Read more...]