• A Review of NIST’s Draft Cybersecurity Framework 2.0

    Cybersecurity professionals, and anyone interested in cybersecurity, have noted that the gold standard of cybersecurity is getting a needed polish. “But all that glitters is not gold,” Melanie Teplinsky writes. NIST’s voluntary cybersecurity framework leaves organizations vulnerable to the nation’s most capable cyber adversaries. NIST’s proposed overhaul won’t change that.

  • Apple and Google Are Introducing New Ways to Defeat Cell Site Simulators, But Is it Enough?

    Cell-site simulators (CSS)—also known as IMSI Catchers and Stingrays—are a tool that law enforcement and governments use to track the location of phones, intercept or disrupt communications, spy on foreign governments, or even install malware.

  • Large Lithium Deposits Discovered in a Caldera on the Nevada-Oregon Border

    Geologists estimate that about 20 to 40 million tons of lithium metal – among the world’s largest deposits – are available in the McDermitt Caldera on the Nevada-Oregon border. “If you believe their back-of-the-envelope estimation, this is a very, very significant deposit of lithium,” says one expert. “It could change the dynamics of lithium globally, in terms of price, security of supply and geopolitics.”

  • Do Gulf States Investments in the West Pose a Threat?

    From football clubs to phone companies, Gulf Arab states are on an investment binge in the West, thanks to high oil prices. Several analysts have warned that the pervasiveness of Chinese snooping technology in the Middle East will likely pose additional security concerns for the West.

  • Railroads May Use Their Monopoly Power to Buffer Coal Plants from a Carbon Emissions Tax

    Railroads are likely to cut transportation prices to prop up coal-fired plants if U.S. climate policies further disadvantage coal in favor of less carbon-intensive energy sources. A new study argues that “If policymakers ignore real distortions in the market, like monopoly power in rail shipping, their climate policy efforts may not achieve the intended results.”

  • The Inside Story of How the Navy Spent Billions on the “Little Crappy Ship”

    Littoral combat ships were supposed to launch the Navy into the future. Instead they broke down across the globe and many of their weapons never worked. Now the Navy is getting rid of them. One is less than five years old.

  • U.S. Chip Sales to China to Continue, but Not Most Powerful Ones

    The United States will continue to sell semi-conductor computer chips to China but not its most powerful ones “that China wants for its military,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said. While the United States and China maintain more than $700 billion in annual trade, escalating tensions in recent years have made it more challenging for U.S. firms to operate in China.

  • Watching Trends: Helping the NRC Model Risk and Reliability

    Nuclear power accounts for 0.03 deaths per terawatt-hour of electricity generated, when including both accidents and deaths due to air pollution. This fatality rate is a factor of 820 lower than electricity produced using coal. One reason U.S. nuclear power plants have such an impressive safety record is that utilities embrace a safety culture, one that uses probabilistic risk assessments, also known as PRAs.

  • A Common BRICS Currency to Challenge the U.S. Dollar? “A Very Far-Fetched Notion”: Expert

    The BRICS bloc, a group of developing countries seen as seeking to counter the United States and the West, agreed at a summit last week to admit six new countries — Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The new members will make BRICS a commodities powerhouse, and the group now accounts for 40 percent of the world’s population. It will be tough for group members  to get away from the dollar as a reserve currency, however, due to the far greater ease of buying and selling it.

  • Chipmaker Nvidia Strikes AI Gold

    The artificial intelligence boom has seen Nvidia achieve stunning financial results. Shares in the Silicon Valley company hit an all-time high, after its revenue doubled year-on-year in the second quarter of 2023 to $13.5 billion. But other companies, including Google, Microsoft and Amazon, want a piece of the action.

  • How ERCOT Is Narrowly Getting Through an Extreme Summer — and How Experts Say It Could Do Better

    Record-high power demand and faltering electricity sources have tested the grid in the past month, forcing the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to dig deep into its toolbox to keep power flowing.

  • Fortune 500 Companies with Immigrant Roots Generated More Money Than the GDP of Most Western Nations

    When Fortune released this year’s Fortune 500 list—the magazine’s iconic ranking of the year’s top-grossing American companies—one fact remained unchanged from previous years: the profound role that immigrants and their children have played in establishing many of the U.S. most successful and influential companies.

  • The Scourge of Commercial Spyware—and How to Stop It

    Years of public revelations have spotlighted a shadowy set of spyware companies selling and servicing deeply intrusive surveillance technologies that are used against journalists, activists, lawyers, politicians, diplomats, and others. Democratic nations (thus far) lag behind the United States in executing spyware-related policy commitments.

  • President Biden Has Banned Some U.S. Investment in China. Here’s What to Know.

    A new executive order restricts U.S. investments in sensitive technologies that Washington fears could help Beijing increase its military power. It is the latest in a raft of policies erecting barriers between the world’s two largest economies, and U.S. allies could soon adopt similar measures. The  Biden administration says the restrictions are directed at protecting national security, not stifling economic competition.

  • Shutting Off Power to Reduce Wildfire Risk on Windy Days Isn’t a Simple Decision – an Energy Expert Explains the Trade-Offs Electric Utilities Face

    Maui County is suing Hawaiian Electric, claiming the utility was negligent for not shutting off power as strong winds hit the island in the hours before the city of Lahaina burned. Electricity is critical infrastructure and a foundational bedrock to many other services, so utilities have to balance the risk of keeping power on with the risks created by shutting power off.