Cyber 'Events,' Russian Spy Whales, and Tariffs

Weekend Reads: May 3, 2019

Tesla’s New Chip Holds the Key to ‘Full Self-Driving’

Tom Simonite | Wired | Retweeted by Jennifer Huddleston

Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled a custom-designed artificial intelligence chip, claiming it is powerful enough to autonomously pilot Teslas by the end of this year. Others in the automobile and computing industries doubt this claim.

Scientists Use Artificial Intelligence to Turn Brain Signals into Speech

Robert Lee Hotz | The Wall Street Journal | Tweeted by Adam Thierer

University of California, San Francisco researchers introduced an experimental brain decoder that uses artificial intelligence to turn brain signals into speech. While not perfected, this technology could help people with disabilities speak their minds.

'Cyber Event' Disrupted US Grid Networks — DOE

Blake Sobczak | E&E News | Retweeted by Alex Tabarrok

A power utility company in the western United States reported an interruption in their grid operations; if this was the work of remote hackers, it could be unprecedented.

Trump Must Resist Pressure to Nationalize 5G

Casey Given | Foundation for Economic Education | Retweeted by Brent Skorup

Rumors of a plan to nationalize 5G have persisted for years. While actions by the Trump administration don’t portend this move, more could be done to ensure a free-market approach.

The Trump Administration Is Finally Admitting That Trade Wars Aren't Easy to Win

Eric Boehm | Reason | Shared by Donald Boudreaux

With tariffs draining $1.4 billion out of the US economy every month, and mounting evidence contradicting their claims, the Trump administration is pivoting away from the “easy to win” rhetoric around trade wars.

Please, Take Socialism Seriously

Emily Chamlee-Wright | The Wall Street Journal| Tweeted by Veronique de Rugy

Political figures, young people, and academics are taking socialism seriously. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing: it’s encouraging a needed debate around the morality of economics.

Whale with Harness Could Be Russian Weapon, Say Norwegian Experts

Hannah Ellis-Petersen | The Guardian | Shared by Tyler Cowen

After a white whale with a strange harness attacked a Norwegian boat, experts say this whale, along with dolphins and seals, could be trained by Russians to be used as weapons or surveillance.

Foxconn Tore Up a Small Town to Build a Big Factory—Then Retreated

Valerie Bauerlein | The Wall Street Journal | Tweeted by Christine McDaniel

For a community in Wisconsin, promises of jobs and a futuristic campus have instead brought debt, land seizures, and political turmoil.

Trump’s Washing Machine Tariffs Stung Consumers While Lifting Corporate Profits

Jim Tankersley | The New York Times | Tweeted by Daniel Griswold

Tariffs on washing machines brought in $82 million to the US Treasury, but raised consumer prices by $1.5 billion. Companies padded their profits and camouflaged the price increase by raising the price of both washers and dryers.