Tech Week: Sony's Cyber Woes, And A Coating To Ease Ketchup's Flow
The big story in tech this week was Sony's continuing cyber troubles following the hack of its computer network late last month. The FBI formally accused North Korea of the cyberattack Friday. Also this week, we look at a new nonstick coating that helps condiments easily slide out of the bottle, and how the power of community organizing might be the key to tech companies' success.
Say Goodbye To Ketchup Struggles: Our Weekly Innovation pick this week is LiquiGlide, a nonstick coating that for lining the inside of bottles to help ketchup, lotion and other products slide out more easily. No more shaking and squeezing — just tilt and let gravity do its thing.
Organization Is Key To Successful Tech: Guest writer Catherine Bracy, director of community organizing at , brings us this story on why tech companies must focus on human resources and grassroots organizing in order to be successful.
The Big Conversation
Sony Pictures still is reeling from a recent cyberattack that forced the company to pull its film The Interview, a comedy that cost $44 million to make, from the box officethis week. The FBI confirmed Friday that North Korea was behind the attack, concluding that the malware used in the hack was similar to software used by North Korea in the past.
In his end-of-year news conference Friday, President Obama called Sony's decision to pull The Interview "a mistake" and said he "wished they would have spoken to me first." The company's CEO, Michael Lytton, told All Things Considered that theaters forced the company's hand by deciding not to show the film, but that the film may not be shelved forever.
"It is very important and we would very much like the American public to see this movie," he said.
The group calling itself Guardians of Peace claimed credit for hacking Sony's computer system last month and released its internal documents, which included films, scripts, employees' personal information, and email correspondence between top studio executives — some of it deeply embarrassing to the company.
The studio cancelled the Christmas Day release of The Interview, which depicts the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, after Guardians of Peace threatened attacks on theaters showing the movie that day and several top theater chains pulled the film from its roster. As NPR's Krishnadev Calamur reported:
"A hackers group called Guardians of Peace, in a statement on Tuesday, warned theaters against screening the film.
" 'The world will be full of fear,' the group said. 'Remember the 11th of September 2001.'
"The Department of Homeland Security, however, has said that it does not perceive a credible threat."
CNN reported Friday that the hackers behind the attack issued another statement saying that Sony's decision to pull the movie was "very wise," but also that the company needed to ensure that the film didn't reach the public through other channels.
Other reads we like this week:
Quartz: $30 Smartphones Are Here
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.