FROM John Markoff
Can We Map the Brain? John F. Kennedy's Race to the Moon led to a multi-billion-dollar industry. Mapping the Human Genome returned $140 for every $1 invested. Now President Obama wants to jump-start a "map" of the human brain, to find how each of 100 billion neurons relates to all of the others. It's a task so complex new tools would be needed with consequences nobody can predict. Would it mean understanding Alzheimer's or Parkinson's? Would it be the key to human consciousness — and the alarming ability to control how people think?
Cyber Attacks Hit PBS, Sony and Lockheed Martin Lockheed Martin , Sony and the Public Broadcasting Service are among the latest targets of computer hackers, but the biggest concern is attacks on security firms that are supposed to protect against hackers. John Markoff is technology reporter for the New York Times .
Iran, Stuxnet and International Diplomacy The US and Israel now say Iran is not as far along in developing nuclear technology as they thought just a few months ago. Hillary Rodham Clinton says that's due to international sanctions. The outgoing chief of Israeli intelligence cites what he calls " technical setbacks ." The New York Times is more specific, pointing to the Stuxnet computer virus, tested at Israel's Dimona nuclear complex with assistance from the United States. Segment image: Iran begins to fuel its first nuclear power station on August 21, 2010 in Bushehr. Photo: IIPA via Getty Images
Iran, Stuxnet and International Diplomacy US and Israeli estimates of Iran's nuclear timetable are less alarming than they were just months ago. Hillary Rodham Clinton says that's due to international sanctions. The outgoing chief of Israeli intelligence cites what he calls " technical setbacks ." The New York Times reports it's the result of Stuxnet, tested at Israel's Dimona nuclear complex with assistance from the United States. That computer virus reportedly caused Iranian centrifuges to spin out of control while convincing operators all was well. It's also capable of disrupting electrical power grids, air traffic control systems or military networks, including those of its own developers. How vulnerable is the US? What will Stuxnet mean for diplomacy, including upcoming talks about Iran's nuclear program?
Google Test Drives Car that Can Drive Itself Reporter John Markoff recently rode in a car that merged into heavy traffic on Interstate 101 in Silicon Valley, left a few exit ramps down the road and then negotiated city traffic through the city of Mountain View, stopping for lights and stop signs. It was no big deal except that nobody was driving. While Silicon Valley's been focusing on social networks and digital movies, Google is busy developing a car that's driven by complex robotics. Markoff wrote about his experience in the New York Times .
Cyber Security, Stuxnet and Internet Freedom Stuxnet was first discovered a few months ago, and it's now regarded as a weapon of cyber sabotage -- with the capacity not just to corrupt computer software but to manipulate programs that control machines.
Cyber Security, Stuxnet and Internet Freedom Computer experts say Stuxnet is the first known case of cyber sabotage. Discovered just a few months ago, it's a virus that infects not just computer programs but also the machines they operate. It's so sophisticated that it's likely the work of a nation-state targeting Iran's nuclear program. But it's also spread to a number of other countries. Is Stuxnet a cyber-warfare weapon that went wrong? Who launched it? Nobody knows, but the Internet could be used to wreak havoc in the real world. What are the challenges for national security? Will it mean compromising the freedom and privacy now taken for granted in the virtual world?
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.