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Can Europe Be a Leading Tech Power?

August 3, 2015 BRUSSELS—It is easy to get lost in European bureaucratese, with its byzantine designations and overlapping commissioners, vice presidents, and directorates-general. But when it comes to digital policy, the important thing to know is just this: Andrus Ansip is the most powerful person in Europe today. As the commissioner in charge...

Life-Saving 'Undo Send' Feature Now Official Part of Gmail

June 23, 2015 It’s the sort of small software tweak that we at Quartz would normally ignore—if it wasn’t one of the most life-saving software tweaks ever invented. For well over half a decade, Gmail’s “undo send” feature, which works pretty much as advertised, has lived in obscurity in the “labs” section of...

A Brief Guide to the Fantastic, Wondrous Creatures of Tech Industry Jargon

June 22, 2015 First came the unicorns. Then came the decacorns. Now people are talking about dragons, centaurs, and even ponies. The world’s tech startups, the people who finance them, and the journalists who write about them, appear in thrall to some sort of collective mass delusion in which startups must be classified...

Why Apple Is Suddenly So Obsessed With Your Privacy

June 9, 2015 Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook made a speech that—since it’s Apple—was widely picked up everywhere. While the full text of the speech was not made available, the bits TechCrunch and everyone else cited focused on user privacy: I’m speaking to you from Silicon Valley, where some of the most...

You Can Now Protect Your Facebook Messages From Snooping Eyes

June 1, 2015 In July 2013, soon after the Edward Snowden revelations revealed to the world the widespread nature of US government snooping, Facebook turned on HTTPS by default, making communication between users’ computers and Facebook’s servers safe from peering eyes. In October last year, Facebook made its site available over Tor, a...

How to Use Mobile Phone Data for Good Without Invading Anyone’s Privacy

May 6, 2015 In 2014, when the West African Ebola outbreak was at its peak, some academics argued that the epidemic could have been slowed by using mobile phone data. Their premise was simple: call-data records show the true nature of social networks and human movement. Understanding social networks and how people really...

There’s One Part of the Tech Industry that Mobile Is Not Disrupting

April 14, 2015 Mobile has turned the tech industry upside down, destroying old businesses and creating new ones. But there is one corner of the tech industry that is strangely unaffected by the rise of the smartphone: hacking. According to Verizon’s latest Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), an authoritative annual report (pdf) that...

The Many Americans Who Only Use Smartphones to Go Online

April 2, 2015 The idea that new Internet users will come online on smartphones rather than computers is now well established. But it is often assumed that this population is composed entirely of people from the world’s poor countries. A new report from Pew punctures that assumption: It turns out that one in...

Why the Mobile Industry Wants to Kill the Password

March 6, 2015 Nobody likes passwords. They’re hard to remember, we’re terrible at coming up with good ones, and they’re not much use anyway. Yet they refuse to go away. The closest we’ve come to getting rid of them is by using the likes of Google and Facebook to log in to other...

How American and British Spies Hacked the World’s Largest SIM-Card-Maker

February 20, 2015 Mass surveillance by America’s National Security Agency (NSA) and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) cast its net even wider than previously thought. The Intercept, a website that publishes stories based on documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, reports today that the two agencies hacked the networks of Gemalto, a...

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