The Morning After: North Korean workers got remote IT jobs to help finance weapons programs

They used fake identities to work remotely for US companies.

BeeBright via Getty Images

The United States Justice Department says North Korean nationals have been working remotely for US companies, using fake IDs. The money they make is apparently being funneled to fund weapons of mass destruction programs. At a news conference in St. Louis, Missouri, the FBI alleged that thousands of individuals have moved to countries such as Russia and China and posed as freelance IT workers living in the US.

They used false information for emails, payment platforms and websites — sometimes even paying Americans to use their Wi-Fi and setting up proxy computers from those connections. The money being made here was substantial, too. The FBI has apparently collected around $1.5 million in money earned by these workers during previously sealed seizures in October 2022 and January 2023.

– Mat Smith

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Engadget Podcast: Breaking down Andreessen’s “Techno-Optimist Manifesto”

Also, we discuss why Spider-Man 2 on the PS5 is a worthy sequel.

Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen has wrapped up his pro-tech worldview in a massive tome, the Techno-Optimist Manifesto. Andreessen claims, “technology is the glory of human ambition and achievement, the spearhead of progress, and the realization of our potential,” and he goes on to vilify anyone who dares to step in the way of “progress.” To break down this document, we’re joined by tech critic Paris Marx. We also dive into Spider-Man 2 on PS5.

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Super Mario Bros. Wonder review

The joy of pure imagination.


So Mario has always consumed mushrooms, but in the latest Mario game on Nintendo Switch, it seriously feels like the plumber (and his friends) are dabbling in hallucinogens. This has opened the creative floodgates for level design and gameplay dynamics, twisting the usual 2D platform game in weird and wonderful ways. The game also marks the first Mario title with a new voice actor for the protagonist.

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Jon Stewart's Apple TV+ show reportedly ends following clash over AI and China

The show was abruptly canceled.

The Problem With Jon Stewart isn't returning for a third season at Apple TV+. It was supposed to begin filming for another eight episodes within the next couple of weeks, but Apple and Stewart reportedly decided to part ways before it could start. According to The New York Times, the publications said the parties didn't see eye to eye, with Stewart apparently telling production staff that Apple executives had raised concerns about certain subjects they planned to cover, particularly China and artificial intelligence. Neither party has issued a statement.

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Blizzard plans to raffle off a human-blood-infused PC

Diablo IV players have to donate to make it happen.


To celebrate the release of Diablo IV’s new season, Season of Blood, Blizzard has launched a month-long blood drive in the US that’ll unlock in-game rewards. Once donations reach 666 quarts altogether, players will be able to enter sweepstakes for “a custom liquid-cooled PC infused with real human blood.” A typical blood donation is 1 pint, so it’ll take a little over 1,300 donations to hit the final goal. Get giving, you creeps.

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