Sprint customers in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Kansas City will be among the first to test the company's 5G wireless network when it launches in May, executives said Monday. Expect an additional five markets -- Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. -- to come online by the first half of the year, said Sprint chief executive Michel Combes. The impending launch could make Sprint the first U.S. wireless carrier to offer a mass-market 5G service for smartphones in a global race to provide faster download speeds and support for new applications such as self-driving cars. Customers of Google Fi, the wireless service run by Google on Sprint's network, will be able to connect to Sprint's 5G capabilities, as well, Combes said -- though it is unclear when Google Fi customers will gain access to 5G smartphones that can take advantage of the new technology. Company officials declined to say how Sprint's 5G plans will be sold to consumers, or at what price.
SAN FRANCISCO/BOSTON/WASHINGTON – Hackers unleashed a complex attack on the internet through common devices like webcams and digital recorders and cut access to some of the world's best known websites Friday, a stunning breach of global internet stability. The attacks struck Twitter, Paypal, Spotify and other customers of an infrastructure company in New Hampshire called Dyn, which acts as a switchboard for internet traffic. The attackers used hundreds of thousands of internet-connected devices that had previously been infected with a malicious code that allowed them to cause outages that began in the eastern United States and then spread to other parts of the country and Europe. "The complexity of the attacks is what's making it very challenging for us," said Dyn's chief strategy officer, Kyle York. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation said they are investigating.
The Consumer Electronics Show, one of the world's tentpole technology shows, is a flashy vehicle for the engineering underneath. In the world of chipsets, the show was dominated by Nvidia, one of many companies seeking to power the artificial intelligence in next-generation cars and image processors. There were also plenty of opportunities for component manufacturers to find places in the flashy new cars and fleets that dominated some of the show floors. Chipmakers and sensor manufacturers are also keeping an eye on what customers want in the automotive space. Just seven states – Nevada, California, Florida, Michigan, Hawaii, Washington, and Tennessee -- and the District of Columbia have passed bills related to autonomous driving.
Universities across the country are grappling with a series of similar bomb threats sent to campus printers and fax machines over the past two weeks, prompting questions about how attackers were able to gain access to university networks to send the threats. The universities affected include Vanderbilt University, University of Southern California, University of Virginia and University of Detroit-Mercy, among other potential targets. Businesses around the nation have also been on the receiving end of the bomb threats, ranging in location from Asheville, N.C. and Grand Forks, N.D. to Detroit, Mich., Fairview Park, Ohio and Pompton Lakes, N.J. The threats appear to be part of a nationwide scam, according to the Citizen-Times in Asheville. Universities and businesses found print-outs, faxes and emails asking for a ransom to be paid by Western Union in the amount of $25,000 to a Brazilian citizen, Asheville police told the Citizen-Times.
Intel and Microsoft have been on something of an artificial intelligence (AI) investment binge of late, with the chip and software giants announcing a slew of deals this week via their respective VC arms -- Intel Capital and Microsoft Ventures. Perhaps the most notable of these was Element AI, which raised a gargantuan $102 million in what is one of the largest series A rounds in recent times. The Montreal-based startup, which helps connect companies with machine learning experts, drew in some other interesting investors besides Intel and Microsoft, including rival chipmaker Nvidia. The Element AI deal followed just a day after Intel and Microsoft joined forces for a $15 million investment into CognitiveScale, a Texas-based startup that uses AI to harness big data and deliver insights and recommendations. The very same day, Intel participated in a $16 million round into California-based robotic vision startup Aeye, while on Monday Microsoft got involved in a $20 million funding round into CrowdFlower, a platform that meshes machines with human input to ensure data science teams have access to properly tagged, clean data.