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Fighting Today’s Targeted Email Scams

Email phishing is far more sophisticated than it used to be—and even you could fall for it

10 min read
Illustration: QuickHoney
Illustration: QuickHoney

Say you receive an email saying, “We have kidnapped your child. To verify that we are telling the truth, just call your child’s cellphone. To get your child back, you need to send us $10,000 within one hour. We will send instructions in a separate email. Do not tell anybody—or else.”

Chances are you’d pick up the phone and call your child. Imagine the chill along your spine when a stranger answers, “We have your child.”

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Taking Cosmology to the Far Side of the Moon

New Chinese program plans to use satellites in lunar orbit to study faint signals from early universe

3 min read
crescent moon
Darwin Fan/Getty Images

A team of Chinese researchers are planning to use the moon as a shield to detect otherwise hard-to-observe low frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum and open up a new window on the universe. The Discovering the Sky at the Longest Wavelengths (DSL) mission aims to seek out faint, low frequency signals from the early cosmos using an array of ten satellites in lunar orbit. If it launches in 2025 as planned it will offer one the very first glimpses of the universe through a new lens.

Nine “sister” spacecraft will make observations of the sky while passing over the far side of the moon, using our 3,474-kilometer-diameter celestial neighbor to block out human-made and other electromagnetic interference. Data collected in this radio-pristine environment will, according to researchers, be gathered by a larger mother spacecraft and transmitted to Earth when the satellites are on the near side of the moon and in view of ground stations.

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Can Freight Train Cars Go Electric—and Self-Driving?

The startup Parallel Systems, founded by three veteran SpaceX engineers, is betting on Yes

7 min read
On an isolated stretch of railroad tracks, a freight container is supported at both ends by two autonomous four-wheeled rail vehicles

Parallel Systems’ “trains” are in fact just one freight-car long—and their cargo is, by design, the standard shipping container.

Moving freight by rail hasn’t changed a whole heck of a lot over the last several decades. And there are good reasons for this: Trains can move freight four times as efficiently as trucks can, and they can move a huge amount of it at once with minimal human supervision. The disadvantage of trains is that they’re best at long-distance hub-to-hub freight transfers, and usually, you still need to put your cargo on a truck to get it to its final destination. Plus, if you just have a little bit of cargo, you may be at the mercy of a network that prioritizes large volume rather than small.

Parallel Systems, a startup founded by a trio of former SpaceX engineers that is coming out of stealth today, hopes to change this model substantially by introducing autonomous rail vehicles that can handle standard shipping containers—the same containers that currently move freely between cargo ships, traditional rail systems, and trucks. By moving containers one at a time, Parallel Systems believes that rail can be much more agile with no loss in efficiency, helping reduce the reliance on trucking. Can they do it? Maybe—but there are some challenges.

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National Instruments Paves the Way for Terahertz Regime in 6G Networks

Developing tools that can test new technologies for 6G networks is the key step in making it a reality

3 min read

This is a sponsored article brought to you by National Instruments (NI).

While 5G networks continue their rollout around the world, researchers and engineers are already looking ahead to a new generation of mobile networks, dubbed 6G. One of the key elements for 6G networks will be to move beyond the millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum and up into the terahertz (THz) spectrum. The THz spectrum will certainly open up more bandwidth, but there are a number of technical challenges that will need to be addressed if mobile networks can ever exploit this spectrum.

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