Michael Cochrane

Michael is a retired Defense Department engineer and former Army officer who is an adjunct professor of engineering management at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. He is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute's mid-career course. Follow Michael on Twitter @MFCochrane.

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Secret signals

Technology | Internet-connected voice assistants prove vulnerable to hacking
by Michael Cochrane
Posted 3/07/19, 04:06 pm

Hackers always seem to find a way to exploit emerging technologies, whether by picking the digital locks on cars and hotel rooms or by cloning credit card numbers on a website. The explosion in popularity of artificially intelligent voice assistants such as Alexa and Siri presents a lucrative target for exploitation, and researchers are now discovering special vulnerabilities in voice-recognition technology.

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Nondisposable proposal

Technology | Major brands launch experiment to reduce waste through reusable containers
by Michael Cochrane
Posted 2/28/19, 03:47 pm

Until well into the 20th century, most Americans had their milk delivered to their door in refillable glass bottles. The milkman also picked up the empties. Now a coalition of major consumer brands is testing a packaging and delivery platform that will use the “milkman model” for products as diverse as ice cream, deodorant, and laundry detergent.

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Michael Buholzer/AFP/Getty Images

Hackers’ election

Technology | Switzerland calls on computer hackers to test its e-voting system
by Michael Cochrane
Posted 2/21/19, 09:25 am

The Swiss government is offering up to $150,000 in bug bounties to white-hat hackers who successfully discover vulnerabilities in the country’s internet voting system. Hackers who register for the “Public Intrusion Test” will search for and report on vulnerabilities during a dummy election run by the Swiss postal system from Feb. 24 through March 24, the duration of a typical voting period in the country.

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