Science & Technology

Finance chairman to propose overhaul of worker visas

February 17, 2017

Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force Orrin Hatch on Thursday said he plans to introduce legislation to update the visa system for highly skilled immigrants. The Utah Republican said he is working on an update of his 2015 Immigration Innovation Act, or I-Squared, and plans to put forward the legislation "in the near future.”

Trade vs. Productivity: What Caused U.S. Manufacturing's Decline and How to Revive It

February 14, 2017

The prevailing narrative says automation was the main culprit behind U.S. manufacturing job losses in the early 2000s, and that automation is now powering an unprecedented manufacturing technology revolution that will continue to displace jobs. But the truth is trade pressure and faltering U.S. competitiveness were responsible for more than two-thirds of the 5.7 million manufacturing jobs lost between 2000 and 2010. And rather than entering a “fourth industrial revolution,” U.S. manufacturing productivity growth now is actually near an all-time low.

Trump eyes end to an H-1B system that favors largest outsourcers

February 13, 2017

The H-1B lottery favors large firms. In the 2015 fiscal year, for instance, the top 10 firms received 38% of all the H-1B visas in computer occupations alone. All these firms, except for Amazon and to a partial extent IBM, are outsourcers. These large companies have the resources to submit enough visa applications to help ensure they receive a bare minimum of approvals. The top 20 firms in 2015, which included more of a mix of outsourcing and technology firms, accounted for 46% of all the computer-occupation visas.

Intel Supports American Innovation with $7 Billion Investment in Next-Generation Semiconductor Factory in Arizona

February 09, 2017

Intel Corporation on Tuesday announced  plans to invest more than $7 billion to complete Fab 42, which is expected to be the most advanced semiconductor factory in the world. The high-volume factory is in Chandler, Ariz., and is targeted to use the 7 nanometer (nm) manufacturing process. It will produce microprocessors to power data centers and hundreds of millions of smart and connected devices worldwide. The announcement was made by U.S. President Donald Trump and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich at the White House.

Why Intel is filling the skies with drones

February 08, 2017

Intel is flooding the skies with drones, doing everything from sending them out to inspect massive solar arrays  in the Mojave Desert to lighting the night sky above Disney World with 500 drones. It’s all part of a virtuous cycle, according to Anil Nanduri, vice president in the new technology group and general manager of Intel’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The world’s biggest chip maker has moved beyond chips to focus on great outdoor experiences for users.

Federal scientist cooked climate change books ahead of Obama presentation, whistle blower charges

February 08, 2017

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in a major 2013 report, concluded global temperatures had shown a smaller increase from 1998 to 2012 than any similar period over the past 30 to 60 years. But a blockbuster, June 2015 paper by a team of federal scientists led by Thomas Karl, published in the journal Science in June 2015 and later known as the “pausebuster" paper sought to discredit the notion of a slowdown in warming.

Uber hires a NASA expert to help develop flying cars

February 07, 2017

Uber has hired a NASA expert to build out its vision for flying cars Monday. Mark Moore, a 30-year veteran of the space agency with expertise in using electric motors to get a vehicle airborne, will help the ride-hailing giant execute on an expansive white paper it released last fall on developing VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) vehicles.

Four Reasons President Trump Could Send U.S. Astronauts To Mars

February 06, 2017

When Gene Cernan, the last U.S. astronaut to walk on the Moon, died only days before President Trump's inauguration, he was a disappointed man. Cernan had predicted after his Moon mission that Americans would land on Mars before the end of the 20th Century. It never happened. Like the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51, America's manned space program built an early lead, and then (to quote Atlanta's coach) ran out of gas.

10 best gadgets from CES 2017

February 06, 2017

From virtual reality to concept cars, thousands of tech companies showcased what they think you'll buy in the coming year. While it’s difficult to see all the products at the show and narrow down the best gadgets, here are 10 of the most impressive in various categories.

China's Intelligent Weaponry Gets Smarter

February 06, 2017

Last year, for example, Microsoft researchers proclaimed that the company had created software capable of matching human skills in understanding speech. Although they boasted that they had outperformed their United States competitors, a well-known A.I. researcher who leads a Silicon Valley laboratory for the Chinese web services company Baidu gently taunted Microsoft, noting that Baidu had achieved similar accuracy with the Chinese language two years earlier.

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