Chinese Spy Agency Rising to Challenge the C.I.A.
Technology

Chinese Spy Agency Rising to Challenge the C.I.A.

The Chinese spies wanted more. In meetings during the pandemic with Chinese technology contractors, they complained that surveillance cameras tracking foreign diplomats, military officers and intelligence operatives in Beijing’s embassy district fell short of their needs.The spies asked for an artificial intelligence program that would create instant dossiers on every person of interest in the area and analyze their behavior patterns. They proposed feeding the A.I. program information from databases and scores of cameras that would include car license plates, cellphone data, contacts and more.The A.I.-generated profiles would allow the Chinese spies to select targets and pinpoint their networks and vulnerabilities, according to internal meeting memos obtained by The New York Times.The spie...
New York Times Sues OpenAI and Microsoft Over Use of Copyrighted Work
Business

New York Times Sues OpenAI and Microsoft Over Use of Copyrighted Work

The New York Times sued OpenAI and Microsoft for copyright infringement on Wednesday, opening a new front in the increasingly intense legal battle over the unauthorized use of published work to train artificial intelligence technologies.The Times is the first major American media organization to sue the companies, the creators of ChatGPT and other popular A.I. platforms, over copyright issues associated with its written works. The lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan, contends that millions of articles published by The Times were used to train automated chatbots that now compete with the news outlet as a source of reliable information.The suit does not include an exact monetary demand. But it says the defendants should be held responsible for “billions of dollars in statut...
Aleksei Navalny, in Letter, Describes Transfer to Arctic Prison
World

Aleksei Navalny, in Letter, Describes Transfer to Arctic Prison

Aleksei A. Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, published a letter on Tuesday describing an arduous transfer to his new penal colony in the Arctic, the first time his supporters had heard from him in three weeks.Mr. Navalny’s comments, posted on his social network accounts and written with a heavy dose of irony and humor, highlighted his good spirits and seemed intended to assuage concerns among allies who had grown anxious about his health and status since his sudden disappearance from the public eye on Dec. 5.“I am your new Father Frost,” Mr. Navalny wrote, referring to the Russian version of Santa Claus. “I have a sheepskin coat, a hat with earflaps; I should get felt boots soon, and I have grown a beard during the 20-day transit,” he said.“But the main thing is that I kn...
Your Top Health Questions of 2023, Answered
Health

Your Top Health Questions of 2023, Answered

One thing I love about editing the Ask Well column is the camaraderie of it. Every week we answer a health question: Why am I so congested all the time? (I’ve wondered that too!) Why does my sleep get worse as I age? (I’m right there with you.) Is my coffee habit in need of an intervention? (Pour me another while we figure it out.)When I survey our inbox, I’m amazed at what comes in — questions that cover the joys, agonies, confusions and vulnerabilities of being a person. And luckily for us all, we get to seek out the answers.Here are 10 of the most popular health questions of 2023.1. Is it bad to wash your hair every day?The answer depends on your hair texture, how oily it is, whether it’s color-treated and more.“While it may seem that getting the scalp squeaky clean and without any oils...
Dunking hurts: Why players hate — and love — the NBA’s greatest feat
Sports

Dunking hurts: Why players hate — and love — the NBA’s greatest feat

The dunk is basketball’s most lionized play. The most iconic ones are canonized, referenced fondly and often, debated for their merits and significance. The sport’s language has created so many names for it: jam, yam, slam, poster, stuff, hammer. It’s a unique club that only few on this world can join. It’s marvelous.And it hurts like hell.“Can you think of any other concept where your hand swings at something metal?” 11-year NBA veteran Austin Rivers asks. “It’ll probably hurt, yeah?”When asked, players catalog the pain dunking has caused: broken nails; bent fingers; recent bruises; lasting scars; midair collisions; twisted necks; dangerous landings. Injuries that cost them games or even seasons.Derrick Jones Jr., a former NBA All-Star Weekend dunk contest winner now with the Dallas Maver...
Apple’s Newest Headache: An App That Upended Its Control Over Messaging
Technology

Apple’s Newest Headache: An App That Upended Its Control Over Messaging

For years, Ben Black’s phone annoyed his family. It was the only Android device in a family message group with eight iPhones. Because of him, videos and photos would arrive in low resolution and there would be green bubbles of text amid bubbles of blue.But a new app called Beeper Mini gave him the ability to change that.Mr. Black, 25, used the app to create an account for Apple’s messaging service, iMessage, with his Google Pixel phone number. For the first time, every message the family exchanged had a blue bubble and members were able to use perks like emojis and animations.Since it was introduced on Dec. 5, Beeper Mini has quickly become a headache and potential antitrust problem for Apple. It has poked a hole in Apple’s messaging system, while critics say it has demonstrated how Apple ...
Holiday Spending Increased, Defying Fears of a Decline
Business

Holiday Spending Increased, Defying Fears of a Decline

Despite lingering inflation, Americans increased their spending this holiday season, early data shows. That comes as a big relief for retailers that had spent much of the year fearing the economy would soon weaken and consumer spending would fall.Retail sales increased 3.1 percent from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24 compared with the same period a year earlier, according to data Mastercard released on Tuesday. The credit card company’s numbers are not adjusted for inflation.Spending increased across many categories, with restaurants experiencing one of the largest jumps, 7.8 percent. Apparel increased 2.4 percent, and groceries also had gains.The holiday sales figures, driven by a healthy labor market and wage gains, suggests that the economy remains strong. The Federal Reserve’s campaign to rein in hi...
Under Argentina’s New President, Fuel Is Up 60%, and Diaper Prices Have Doubled
World

Under Argentina’s New President, Fuel Is Up 60%, and Diaper Prices Have Doubled

Over the past two weeks, the owner of a hip wine bar in Buenos Aires saw the price of beef soar 73 percent, while the zucchini he puts in salads rose 140 percent. An Uber driver paid 60 percent more to fill her tank. And a father said he spent twice as much on diapers for his toddler than he did last month.In Argentina, a country synonymous with galloping inflation, people are used to paying more for just about everything. But under the country’s new president, life is quickly becoming even more painful.When Javier Milei was elected president on Nov. 19, the country was already suffering under the world’s third-highest rate of inflation, with prices up 160 percent from a year before.But since Mr. Milei took office on Dec. 10 and quickly devalued the Argentine currency, prices have soared a...
This Gorilla’s Caregivers Face Familiar Questions About Aging
Health

This Gorilla’s Caregivers Face Familiar Questions About Aging

This month, as the patient lay anesthetized on a table, a cardiologist made a half-inch incision through the skin of his chest. She removed a small implanted heart monitor with failing batteries and inserted a new one.The patient, like many older males, had been diagnosed with cardiac disease; the monitor would provide continuing data on heart rate and rhythm, alerting his doctors to irregularities.Closing the incision required four neat stitches. In a few hours, the patient, a gorilla named Winston, would rejoin his family in their habitat at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.“Winston, at 51, is a very old male gorilla,” said Dr. Matt Kinney, a senior veterinarian at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance who led the medical team through the procedure. With improved health care, new technology a...
Golf with a purpose: How The Park dared to be different
Sports

Golf with a purpose: How The Park dared to be different

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — It’s lunchtime on a mid-November Saturday afternoon and the word of the day is eclectic. I’ve just finished my morning round at The Park with a three-putt for par on the forgiving 18th hole, and I saddle up at the cabana, the bar/small bites stand strategically located at the front of the property.A foursome that was a few holes ahead of me is heading off to their vehicles — while allowing for their anonymity, let’s just say they can be members anywhere they want to be in the golf-rich West Palm Beach/Jupiter area. Making the turn to the back nine are the bros wanting to chase down their transfusions with High Noons. Though they represent very different ends of the Saturday golfer spectrum, you recognize both groups as what a golfer “looks” like.But the cabana occup...