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Calls to charge companies returned after the financial crisis of 2008, when there was clear evidence of widespread wrongdoing at banks. But the government feared that the global financial system was still not strong enough to bear the consequences of charges against a large bank and held off taking criminal actions. (It did, however, bring…


North Korea, Fearing K-Pop and Porn, Warns Against Smartphones’ Influence

SEOUL, South Korea — K-pop. Cheating on exams. Even pornography. North Korea on Tuesday warned against the disruptive influence it said smartphones could have on its isolated population, as the devices have begun to expose young people in particular to information and trends from the outside world. In the hermetically sealed North, South Korean officials…

Some of the Popular Images and Themes the Russians Posted on Social Media

When Russia targets Americans on social media, it has political goals: in 2016, to damage Hillary Clinton and help elect Donald J. Trump; since then, to press Russian views on issues like the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine; and in the future — who knows? To wield influence, Russian online operators must first build an…

New Google Campus Accelerates Tech’s March Into New York

Google has expanded quietly and has not asked for public subsidies. “We’ve been growing steadily for the past 18 years without heralding trumpets, or asking for support from the government,” William Floyd, Google’s head of external affairs in New York said this month. “We’ve done it by the dint our own work.” Still, Google has…

Profiles in Science: The Yoda of Silicon Valley

Following Dr. Knuth’s doctrine helps to ward off moronry. He is known for introducing the notion of “literate programming,” emphasizing the importance of writing code that is readable by humans as well as computers — a notion that nowadays seems almost twee. Dr. Knuth has gone so far as to argue that some computer programs…