Editor's note

Cybercriminals use sophisticated technology to rake in millions of dollars in scammed and stolen money across the globe, and cost their victims millions more to clean up the messes they leave behind. When police try to break up these online rings, they find a whole set of obstacles that are different from crimefighting in the physical world. Cybersecurity researchers Frank Cilluffo and Alec Nadeau, along with Europol Director Rob Wainwright, reviewed the multinational effort to take down a massive cybercrime network. What they learned is both surprising and immediately useful.

From your weight to the time to the millions of dollars made from scams, numbers drive nearly every decision in our modern world. But you may be surprised to learn that numbers aren’t common across the human experience. Anthropologist Caleb Everett dives deep into the handful of cultures that don’t have any words for numbers – and what these numberless people can teach us about ourselves.

And in Washington, the threat of a government shutdown this week receded a bit after President Trump backed away from his insistence that the federal budget include funding for his border wall. He still plans to plow ahead with the proposed barrier, so we assembled a list of essential reads from our archive to explain the issues at stake.

Jeff Inglis

Editor, Science + Technology

Top story

Police must join forces across international borders to take on modern cybercriminals. wutzkohphoto/Shutterstock.com

Police around the world learn to fight global-scale cybercrime

Frank J. Cilluffo, George Washington University; Alec Nadeau, George Washington University; Rob Wainwright, University of Exeter

Cybercriminals are using cloud-based services, much like regular businesses. A new study reveals important lessons for the future of fighting cybercrime.

A Pirahã family. Caleb Everett

'Anumeric' people: What happens when a language has no words for numbers?

Caleb Everett, University of Miami

From the Amazon to Nicaragua, there are humans who never learn numbers. What can these anumeric cultures teach us about ourselves?

Science + Technology

  • Can Bill Nye – or any other science show – really save the world?

    Heather Akin, University of Pennsylvania; Bruce W. Hardy, Temple University; Dietram A. Scheufele, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Dominique Brossard, University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Popular programming that focuses on science tends to not actually be all that popular. Bringing in new audiences who aren't already up to speed on science topics is a challenge.

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