Tech Startup Thorn Takes Aim at Child Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking

The company, cofounded by actor Ashton Kutcher, develops tools to help identify victims and catch criminals

3 min read
Photograph showing the hands of a youth on a laptop.
Photo: iStockphoto

THE INSTITUTEThe sexual exploitation and trafficking of children is a serious problem worldwide. Children account for nearly one-third of identified trafficking victims globally, according to UNICEF. Today’s technology provides traffickers with convenient ways to reach abusers around the world. The traffickers use the Web, mobile devices, and social media to advertise, schedule, and purchase sexual encounters with minors.

Smartphone cameras, portable video recorders, and image-creation tools are used to produce child pornography, which is then shared on the Internet, collected on thumb drives, and traded through the cloud. Tools that provide anonymity and encryption have enhanced the offenders’ ability to evade detection by law enforcement.

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The State of the Transistor in 3 Charts

In 75 years, it’s become tiny, mighty, ubiquitous, and just plain weird

3 min read
A photo of 3 different transistors.
iStockphoto
LightGreen

The most obvious change in transistor technology in the last 75 years has been just how many we can make. Reducing the size of the device has been a titanic effort and a fantastically successful one, as these charts show. But size isn’t the only feature engineers have been improving.

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