Atlantic, The

Sen Mark Warner (D-VA) Is Coming for Tech's Too-Powerful

A Q&A with Sen Mark Warner (D-VA). 

Is Alexa Dangerous?

We’re all falling for Alexa, unless we’re falling for Google Assistant, or Siri, or some other genie in a smart speaker. Privacy concerns have not stopped the march of these devices into our homes, however. Amazon, Google, and other tech corporations have grand ambitions. They want to colonize everyday space. The company that succeeds in cornering the smart-speaker market will lock appliance manufacturers, app designers, and consumers into its ecosystem of devices and services, just as Microsoft tethered the personal-computer industry to its operating system in the 1990s. 

Tech Was Supposed to Be Society’s Great Equalizer. What Happened?

In the latest episode of the podcast Crazy/Genius, we ask why the dream of the digital revolution has proven so disappointing for some of its early advocates. One of those dreamers was Meredith Broussard, a computer scientist and a data journalist, who entered Harvard University in 1991, just months after Tim Berners-Lee launched the first website. “The early Internet was deeply groovy,” Broussard said, a place where idealistic young men and women thought they could redesign the rules of society.

American Democracy Is in Crisis

In the roughly 21 months since he took the oath of office, President Donald Trump has sunk far below the already-low bar he set for himself in his ugly campaign. As I see it, there are five main fronts of this assault on our democracy. First, there is Donald Trump’s assault on the rule of law. Second, the legitimacy of our elections is in doubt. Third, the president is waging war on truth and reason. Lesley Stahl, the 60 Minutes reporter, asked Trump during his campaign why he’s always attacking the press.

CEO Says Launching Satellites Without FCC Permission Was 'A Mistake'

Sara Spangelo is the CEO of a young start-up called Swarm Technologies. Swarm had secured a spot on an Indian rocket for its product: a set of four small satellites nicknamed Spacebees. The Spacebees are prototypes for Swarm’s ambitious plan to provide internet access to areas without it.