apple
Apple’s Diversity Chief Is Leaving After Six Months

Apple’s Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, Denise Young Smith, is leaving the company at the end of the year, Bloomberg reports. Earlier this month, Cornell Tech announced Young Smith would be joining the faculty as an executive-in-residence in January. Read More >>

virtual reality
Playing SteamVR in Microsoft Mixed Reality Is a Bummer

In an infamous Twitter meme that misquotes Alan Moore’s Watchmen, Dr. Manhattan, naked, blue, and seated in a crater alone on Mars, says: “I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.” He’s a perfect candidate for Windows 10 Mixed Reality, Microsoft approach to virtual reality, that, starting today, is compatible with SteamVR. Read More >>

law
FBI: Man ‘Thought It Would Be Funny’ to Shine Laser in Pilot’s Eyes, Crashed Car in Chase

Authorities say a California man who was arrested after crashing during a high-speed chase allegedly “thought it would be funny” to flash a laser at a police helicopter, Ars Technica reports. Such laser strikes are dangerous because they can disorient pilots and endanger their passengers and people on the ground. The FAA reports roughly 5,000 laser strikes per year around the country, though this might be the most dramatic and idiotic case yet. Read More >>

apple
iPhone X Doesn’t Work Right in the Cold, Users Say, But Apple Promises to Fix It

Just in time for winter, some users discovered a software bug causing the iPhone X to freeze up in cold weather. Yeesh, for a cool grand, you’d think your phone would work in a little chill. Read More >>

gaming
The New Star Wars AR Game is Clunky, Cool, Still Too Expensive 

The success of any AR game depends entirely on immersion: whether the player’s having so much they forget how massively dorky they look with a cafeteria tray stuck to their their face. Disney’s Star Wars: Jedi Challenges, a £250 standalone AR machine made in collaboration with Lenovo, succeeds at this in fits and spurts. Going toe-to-toe with Darth Maul in melee combat or commanding ground troops to retake ships is thrilling, but the package’s clunky, cluttered setup presentation wastes too much time in drawing in players. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
Japanese Researchers Trick AI Into Thinking 3D-Printed Turtle Is a Rifle

Japanese researchers have used a startlingly simple exploit to trick object recognition AI into classifying a 3D-printed turtle as a rifle. Incredibly, they did it by changing a single pixel. Read More >>

crime
Serial Killer in Japan Stalked, Murdered Suicidal Women He Found Through Twitter

In a grisly tale, The New York Times reports Takahiro Shiraishi, 27, was arrested in Zama prefecture, Japan, 30 miles outside of Tokyo, after police found nine severed heads in coolers in his flat. Shiraishi reportedly used Twitter to find women who’d expressed suicidal thoughts over the service, murdering and decapitating them. Shiraishi has also admitted to sexually assaulting some of the women. Read More >>

wtf
Yes, Reuters Really Did Buy Two Human Heads and a Spine

As part of a series of special reports that could have come with a co-byline from Quentin Tarantino, Reuters has confirmed that it bought two human heads and part of a spine while investigating “body brokers,” America’s largely unregulated vendors of human parts. According to the news agency, reporter Brian Grow was able to buy the heads and the cervical spine “after just a few email exchanges.” The heads and the spine cost $300 (£226), plus shipping, each. Read More >>

facebook
Palestinian Man Arrested After Facebook Auto-Translates ‘Good Morning’ as ‘Attack Them’ 

A Palestinian construction worker was arrested by Israeli police after Facebook incorrectly translated the text of one of his posts. Haaretz reports that the man uploaded a picture from his job at a construction site with the text “good morning” in Arabic. When officers used Facebook’s automatic translation service to read the post, the text was mistranslated as “attack them” in Hebrew and “hurt them” in English. Read More >>

security
Researchers Hack Tinder, Ok Cupid, Other Dating Apps to Reveal Your Location and Messages

Security researchers have uncovered numerous exploits in popular dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and OK Cupid. Using exploits ranging from simple to complex, researchers at the Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab say they could access users’ location data, their real names and login info, their message history, and even see which profiles they’ve viewed. As the researchers note, this makes users vulnerable to blackmail and stalking. Read More >>

facebook
Russia Deceived Black Activists Into Aiding Their Election Interference Scheme

A landmark investigation from Russian news outlet RBC uncovered a Kremlin-sponsored scheme that used Facebook to recruit black activists in the US as part of Russia’s election interference campaign, reportedly paying them to organise Black Lives Matter rallies, self-defence classes, and produce content for Russian-owned sites decrying police brutality. Contacted by Buzzfeed News, the activists had no idea they were part of any Russian plot, recalling odd, but not alarming, phone calls with a man with an “African” accent. Racial division, subsequent reports have uncovered, was key to Russia’s interference campaign. Read More >>

humour
Very Good Girl Fired for Refusing to Be a Narc

In a troubling series of tweets with more emotional intensity than an entire season of Homeland, the CIA’s official Twitter account told the story of Lulu, an adorable bomb-sniffing dog who refused to sniff bombs. Read More >>

technology
Biggest Study of Police Body Cams Yet Finds No Change in Use of Force

A landmark new study following US police officers has found no evidence that body cameras reduce allegations of police misconduct or officer use of force. More than 2,000 police officers participated in the study, making it the largest of its kind in the US. Tracked over several months, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers with body cameras received roughly the same number of civilian complaints as those without them and reported using force just about as often. Ultimately, the study by Washington, DC’s The Lab concluded that police departments “should not expect dramatic reductions in use of force or complaints, or other large-scale shifts in police behaviour, solely from the deployment of this technology.” Read More >>

privacy
Israel Scraps Plans for Database of All Jewish American University Students

The Israeli government is cancelling its plans to set up a database of all Jewish university students in the United States (roughly 350,000 people) to market them Israeli content, Haaretz reported. Using targeted advertising techniques, the planned purpose of the database was to galvanise interest among Jewish American students in Israel, Judaism, and Israeli activities. Read More >>

ai
New All-Seeing Billboard Uses Hidden Cameras to Show Adverts Based on Age, Emotions

London’s famous Piccadilly Circus is getting an immense and terrifying new video display called Piccadilly Lights. According to its maker, the enormous 790-square-metre screen can detect the vehicles, ages, and even emotions of people nearby, and respond by playing targeted adverts. Imagine New York’s Time Square with a makeover from John Carpenter’s They Live—but without any pretence of deception. Read More >>