Bytes: What’s new in tech
Twitter wants to be cable
Twitter is trying to reinvent itself as a place to watch live video, said Makeda Easter in the Los Angeles Times. The social network recently inked a deal with Bloomberg Media to stream around-the-clock video news, alongside content from a dozen other partners featuring events like live sports and concerts. Twitter’s new programming will include a weekly live stream of WNBA games, a morning news show produced by BuzzFeed News, and a weekly gadget-review show from technology and culture site TheVerge.com. Entertainment company Live Nation also “plans to stream concerts exclusively on Twitter.” Twitter has already been ramping up its video content as it tries to lure new users to the service.
Hacking industrial robots
“Like anything that’s connected to the internet, robots, too, have become vulnerable to hackers,” said April Glaser in Recode .net. Researchers at cybersecurity firm Trend Micro say they have found major weaknesses in the industrial robots built by five major manufacturers: ABB, Fanuc, Mitsubishi, Kawasaki, and Yaskawa. The machines, which are used to make everything from smartphones to airplanes, were easily hacked by testers, who took advantage of insecure internet connections and weak passwords. Researchers were even able to break into one of the robots to slightly alter its programming. The team hacked a robot programmed to draw a straight line so that it would be off by 2 millimeters. That’s troubling, because “if a robot makes a car part that’s altered just a few millimeters from its original design, it could cause the vehicle to malfunction and crash.”
Is online grounding too harsh?
Grounding kids from using social media might be a tougher punishment than parents realize, said Hayley Tsukayama in The Washington Post. Teens under such restrictions “lose more than just a few days gossiping with friends,” according to a new study by the University of Chicago. Teenagers who were forced to take a break from social media—38 percent of those surveyed—“were more likely to report being anxious about being away from social media.” They were also likely to post even more when they were allowed back online. Grounding kids from the web doesn’t just cut into their social life, say the study’s authors, but also limits their sources of news and emotional support, as well as access to messages from teachers and coaches about practices and assignments. ■