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Tech We’re Using: The Must-Have When Reporting on Disasters: A Satellite Phone

How do New York Times journalists use technology in their jobs and in their personal lives? Thomas Fuller, a national correspondent based in San Francisco, discussed the tech he’s using.As a national reporter, you often find yourself caught in breaking news situations. What tech do you use when covering mass shootings? How about when covering fires?My previous job was Southeast Asia correspondent, and I would lug around a satellite phone on trips to remote places like northern Myanmar. When I arrived in San Francisco three years ago, I didn’t think I would need it. But the California wildfires of the last two years knocked out cell coverage,…

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Tesla Sales Slump as ’19 Starts Is Hinted At in State Data

For weeks, analysts have speculated that Tesla has seen a marked drop in sales since the beginning of the year, and the electric-car maker’s recent gyrations on price cuts and cost-saving initiatives have only bolstered their suspicions.Recently compiled data on new-car registrations from a large portion of the United States seems to offer further support for that view. According to the Dominion Cross-Sell Report, a compilation drawn from state motor vehicle records, registrations of new Tesla vehicles fell significantly from January to February in the 23 states the report covers. The states include California, which accounts for about half of Tesla’s sales, as well as Texas, Florida…

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Amazon Bets on an Empathetic Alexa

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. — Alexa is multiplying. And that’s exactly what Amazon wants.The smart speaker assistant, which debuted four years ago with the tech company’s Echo device, has gone from a handy gadget for streaming music to a ubiquitous home tool, able to do everything from switching on the lights to ordering an Uber.Amazon announced recently that it had sold more than 100 million Alexa devices. And the company is all in. Last fall, it unveiled more than a dozen assorted devices that tap into the voice assistant, including a microwave and a wall clock.Dave Limp, Amazon’s senior vice president for devices and services, said Alexa…

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How to Navigate Investing in A.I., From Someone Who’s Done It

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. — Mark Zuckerberg’s “move fast and break things” mantra may no longer be Facebook’s modus operandi, but Silicon Valley’s demand for rapid growth is still strong. And the rise of the competitive landscape of artificial intelligence is only fueling it.Last year, venture capital investment in A.I. start-ups increased 72 percent from the previous year to a record $9.3 billion in the United States, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report.Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn and a prominent venture capitalist, said at The New York Times’s New Work Summit in California that he looked very carefully at A.I. ventures to see how they were making…

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Election 2018 Misinformation Roundup: ‘Problematic’ Text Messages and Doctored Mailers

[To help readers better understand the information landscape in this election season, journalists at The Times have been collecting examples of electioneering that have the potential to confuse or mislead voters. If you see a suspicious post or text, please take a screenshot and share it with us.]Texts from ‘Trump’It’s an old get-out-the-vote technique applied to a new medium. Voters in several battleground states are receiving text messages telling them that their ballots have not yet been received. The messages then invite recipients to visit a website run by the Republican National Committee, where they are asked to enter their email address and other information.Rebecca Mase, a…

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Strategies: The New iPhones Look Fine. But My Old One Is Better Than Ever.

Could this have been a case of planned obsolescence of a nefarious sort, the deliberate ruination of a perfectly good product to spur sales of a new one? I am not convinced that it was, although suspicions have been rampant for years that this kind of behavior might be standard for big tech companies. Facing widespread criticism, as well as lawsuits that are pending in California, Apple apologized late last year.In a statement at the time, the company said it had meant well and had merely been trying to keep phones working longer. Critically, Apple said it would offer expedited services at lower prices for owners of…

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California Tries New Tack on Gun Violence: Ammo Control

[Read: Once Banned, Now Loved and Loathed: How the AR-15 Became ‘America’s Rifle’]The purchase or sale of magazines that can hold more than 10 bullets has been illegal in California for nearly two decades. Possession also became criminal in the wake of the 2015 attack in San Bernardino, where the couple used 30-round magazines. That ban was recently overturned by the courts.Next July, California will begin requiring stores to conduct point-of-purchase background checks on ammunition buyers. Typically, background checks will not be required for people purchasing bullets at gun ranges for use on-site.New York is the only other state with a similar requirement, but its rollout has…

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California Lawmakers Pass Nation’s Toughest Net Neutrality Law

WASHINGTON — California lawmakers on Friday passed a bill that would guarantee full and equal access to the internet — a principle known as net neutrality — in the biggest pushback yet to the federal government’s rollback of rules last year.The California bill is viewed as even stronger and more consumer-friendly than the original measures carried out by the Obama administration and abolished in December by the Trump-era Federal Communications Commission. It is sure to set up a fight between broadband providers, which say strict rules would increase their costs, and consumer groups, which seek to ensure that all traffic on the internet is treated equally.It is…

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Every Generation Gets the Beach Villain It Deserves

“Here’s the thing about Vinod,” Mr. Kaul said. “He just doesn’t care.”‘You Could Say He’s Principled’Mr. Khosla was born in Pune, India, in 1955 and grew up the middle-class son of an army officer. He says his parents accepted his personality early on, though they also learned he could be a liability.“The priests would effectively say, ‘If you donate this much money, God will bless you.’ How crooked is that? If I ran into a priest, I’d say, ‘Oh, you’re a crook,’” Mr. Khosla says, recalling being 12 years old.After a master’s degree in biomedical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and an M.B.A. at Stanford Graduate School…

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She Helped Crack the Golden State Killer Case. Here’s What She’s Going to Do Next.

Much to the frustration of her proud son, the genetic genealogist who helped crack the unsolved case of the Golden State Killer decided early in the investigation that she did not want to be named. “I was worried about my safety, which is why it’s taken me so long to come out of the closet,” said Barbara Rae-Venter.Last week, the 70-year-old former attorney, who lives in California, decided she was ready, allowing Paul Holes, a retired investigator at the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office to name her in a tweet:The response to the role she played in identifying Joseph DeAngelo, a former police officer, now charged with…

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