Jeff Ward-Bailey, The Christian Science Monitor

Jeff Ward-Bailey

The Christian Science Monitor

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Past articles by Jeff:

How bitcoin's 'blockchain' could transform banking, voting, and data

The blockchain, the technology underlying bitcoin, creates a perfect record of transactions that can't be hacked or tampered with. Here's how it works. → Read More

In big win for AI, Google computer AlphaGo defeats legendary Go player

AlphaGo uses machine learning to develop strategies for countering the best human players; this kind of adaptability could allow artificial intelligence to make contributions in fields such as medicine and climate science. → Read More

As the battle for Mosul approaches, an electronic war is already raging

Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the US military is launching cyber attacks on ISIS’s communications infrastructure in Mosul, Iraq. The attacks will try to disrupt ISIS’s ability to communicate ahead of a ground battle to retake the city. → Read More

Mercedes replaces robots with humans on the production line

Mercedes hired humans to replace robots on the production line of its plant in Sindelfingen, Germany. When it comes to assembling highly-customized autos, robotic workers can't yet match the dexterity and decision-making abilities of real people. → Read More

How a former astronaut plans to use balloons to take people to the edge of space

Former NASA astronaut Rob Garan has signed on as the chief pilot for World View, a company that will take customers to the edge of space in balloon capsules. How will the capsules work? → Read More

With 'Unlock The Box' vote, FCC aims to improve cable TV setups

The Federal Communications Commission voted this week to allow third-party cable boxes to compete with the provider boxes found in most living rooms. The FCC says its 'Unlock the Box' vote will give customers better choices, but critics say it puts cable companies in a tricky position. → Read More

Google, WhatsApp, and Microsoft side with Apple in FBI encryption case (+video)

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum, and a coalition of tech companies including Microsoft are defending Apple's refusal to bypass iPhone encryption. Here are the arguments for and against building a 'backdoor' into communications. → Read More

How '5-D' glass discs can store data for billions of years

Researchers at the University of Southampton say they have created a way to store information for billions of years. How does the new format work, and why is it important to store data for the long haul? → Read More

How researchers hacked a computer that wasn’t connected to the Internet

Researchers in Israel were able to steal data from a computer that was disconnected from the Internet and sitting by itself in another room. Here's why the hack and others like it matter for the safety of cars, power plants, and financial networks. → Read More

Why AT&T and Verizon's 5G could improve cars as much as it will phones

AT&T and Verizon are beginning tests of 5G wireless technology, which promises speeds 10 to 100 times faster than 4G. 5G networks could eventually enable self-driving cars, the Internet of Things, and more. → Read More

Moore’s law is coming to an end. Blame quantum uncertainty.

After five decades of accurately predicting that processor speeds would double every two years, Moore's Law is slowing down. But just because microchip speeds are leveling out doesn't mean technology will stop improving. → Read More

A car's 'driver' can be a computer, federal goverment tells Google

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ruled this week that a car's driver need not be human. The ruling conflicts with state requirements that all cars have steering wheels and pedals, in case a human needs to take over control of a car. → Read More

Will Amazon's Lumberyard empower small game studios?

Amazon's Lumberyard engine streamlines the process of video game creation and ties in with Twitch and Amazon's cloud services. Lumberyard is meant to appeal to indie developers, but could catch on with larger studios as well. → Read More

MS-DOS computer viruses live on in the Internet Archive’s Malware Museum (+video)

The Malware Museum shows us the colorful, obnoxious, insulting computer viruses of yesteryear – and reminds us how much malware has changed since the 1980s. → Read More

How Google plans to fight extremism through search advertising (+video)

A new program will provide advertising grants to anti-radicalization organizations, making their content more visible when people search Google for violent or extremist material. → Read More

Why Google's cars drive three million virtual miles a day

Google puts its self-driving cars through more than three million simulated miles of driving a day, testing software tweaks and behaviors. Before any software changes are made in the real world, they're tested extensively in Google's simulator. → Read More

Facebook tries to deliver more meaningful content, less clickbait

Facebook tweaked its News Feed algorithm to try to give more prominence to stories that people find meaningful, but don't necessarily get a lot of clicks or likes. → Read More

Starry aims to bring gigabit Internet to every US home

Starry, a startup company from the founder of the now-defunct Aereo Internet TV service, plans to use previously-unusable wireless spectrum to beam gigabit Internet to people's homes. → Read More

Want a peek at experimental new apps? Check out Microsoft Garage.

The Microsoft Garage is an experimental lab where employees can work on software projects in their spare time. If a Garage app catches on with users, it may become an official Microsoft product; if it doesn't, it may be abandoned. → Read More

Sony spins off PlayStation and doubles down on the Internet of Things

Sony is spinning off PlayStation, one of its few profitable divisions, into its own separate company in April. It also announced its acquisition of Altair Semiconductor, which makes LTE chips for Internet-enabled devices. → Read More