Technology

New Jersey Deli Scheme Leads to Securities Fraud Guilty Plea
Technology

New Jersey Deli Scheme Leads to Securities Fraud Guilty Plea

A man involved in a brazen plot to manipulate the stock price of a New Jersey deli’s parent company pleaded guilty to securities fraud on Wednesday.James T. Patten, 64, of North Carolina, admitted to orchestrating a series of misleading trades in an apparent bid to enrich himself and two co-defendants in U.S. District Court in Camden, N.J.Mr. Patten faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $5 million for securities fraud. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.Mr. Patten’s lawyer, Ira Lee Sorkin, said in an interview on Wednesday that attention on the case “was exaggerated beyond any perception — that this was some $100 million fraud involving a delicatessen...
NASA Streams Cat Video From Deep, Deep Space
Technology

NASA Streams Cat Video From Deep, Deep Space

On Dec. 11, NASA engineers anxiously gathered at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., to view a cat video, wondering if it would be in the pristine high definition for which they had hoped.To their relief, it was. For the first time, high-definition video — this one of a lab employee’s cat named Taters — was streamed from 18.6 million miles away, or roughly 80 times the distance from the Earth to the moon, the farthest ever.The demonstration was part of NASA’s Deep Space Optical Communications experiment, aimed at improving the infrastructure for communication beyond the Earth’s orbit. As one example, if humans are to go to Mars, the need exists for larger amounts of data to be transmitted over a longer distance. This demonstration marked another step toward such a possibilit...
Illicit Content on Elon Musk’s X Draws E.U. Investigation
Technology

Illicit Content on Elon Musk’s X Draws E.U. Investigation

The European Union on Monday announced a formal investigation into X, the social media platform owned by Elon Musk, for failure to counter illicit content and disinformation, a lack of transparency about advertising and “deceptive” design practices.The inquiry is perhaps the most substantial regulatory consequence to date of X, which has scaled back its content moderation policies since Mr. Musk bough the service, once known as Twitter, last year. The company’s new policies have led to a rise in incendiary content on the platform, according to researchers, causing brands to scale back advertising.In going after X, the European Union is for the first time using its new authority gained after last year passing a new law, called the Digital Services Act. The policy gives regulators vast new p...
Fewer Electric Vehicles Will Qualify for U.S. Tax Credits in 2024
Technology

Fewer Electric Vehicles Will Qualify for U.S. Tax Credits in 2024

Efforts to fight global warming could suffer a setback next year when new rules reduce the number of electric cars that qualify for a federal tax credit.The credits, up to $7,500 a vehicle, have helped make electric cars more affordable, bringing the cost of some models below $30,000. Next year, for the first time, dealers will be able to give buyers the credit when they purchase a car, rather than telling them to claim it on their tax returns.But qualifying for the subsidy will become more difficult on Jan. 1 because of Biden administration rules intended to encourage automakers to manufacture vehicles and parts in North America, while bypassing China. Most automakers are still years away from breaking their dependence on China for batteries and essential materials like refined lithium.Th...
Pro-China YouTube Network Used A.I. to Malign U.S., Report Finds
Technology

Pro-China YouTube Network Used A.I. to Malign U.S., Report Finds

In a faintly stilted tone and with slightly awkward grammar, the American-accented voice on YouTube last month ridiculed Washington’s handling of the war between Israel and Hamas, claiming that the United States was unable to “play its role as a mediator like China” and “now finds itself in a position of significant isolation.”The 10-minute post was one of more than 4,500 videos in an unusually large network of YouTube channels spreading pro-China and anti-U.S. narratives, according to a report this week from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a security-focused think tank.Some of the videos used artificially generated avatars or voice-overs, making the campaign the first influence operation known to the institute to pair A.I. voices with video essays.The campaign’s goal, according...
All I Want for Christmas Is in This PowerPoint Presentation
Technology

All I Want for Christmas Is in This PowerPoint Presentation

Every year, Michelle Miller-McNair asks her three children to make lists of what they want for Christmas. “They usually write it down on a piece of paper or send me a link to a website,” she said.But this holiday season, Ms. Miller-McNair, a comedian in Mooresville, N.C., received something else: An 18-slide PowerPoint presentation with photos, links and QR codes. It was made by one of her daughters, McKinley.“I worked on it some during school and also when I was at my friend’s house,” McKinley, 13, said. “It took me about two hours total.”The slide show included Panda Dunks (black and white Nike sneakers), makeup, and a necklace from Kendra Scott. She marked high priority items with stars. Before delivering her wish list to her parents one weeknight after dinner, she practiced going throu...
What Ails Offshore Wind: Supply Chains, Ships and Interest Rates
Technology

What Ails Offshore Wind: Supply Chains, Ships and Interest Rates

A few years ago, interest in offshore wind energy was so strong that developers proposed spending tens of billions of dollars to plunk hundreds of turbines the size of skyscrapers in the Atlantic Ocean from Maine to Virginia.But several of those projects have recently hit the skids after executives miscalculated the impact that the pandemic and rising interest rates would have on supply chains. The industry has found it much more difficult to manufacture, transport and erect wind turbines than it had expected. Just two dozen or so turbines have been installed in U.S. waters, compared with more than 6,000 in Europe, which has been building offshore wind farms for decades.As a result, the cost of offshore wind energy will be higher than anticipated and its climate and economic benefits will,...