Science & Technology

HQ2 deal brings new scrutiny on Amazon

November 19, 2018

Lawmakers and officials whose towns won out in the search are welcoming the company with open arms, predicting that its arrival will bring massive economic investments into their communities. But others are raising questions about the wisdom of gifting billions in taxpayer dollars to the second most highly valued company in the world when local infrastructures are struggling.

US overtakes China in top supercomputer list

November 19, 2018

China has been pushed into third place on a list of the world's most powerful supercomputers. The latest list by Top 500, published twice a year, puts two US machines - Summit and Sierra - in the top two places. The US has five entries in the top 10, with other entries from Switzerland, Germany and Japan.

Historic Vote Ties Kilogram and Other Units to Natural Constants

November 18, 2018

A convocation of delegates representing 60 countries voted today in Versailles to implement the most significant change to the International System of Units (SI) in more than 130 years. For the first time, all measurement units will be defined by natural phenomena rather than by physical artifacts.

Amazon May Have Outsmarted Itself With HQ2 Tactics

November 16, 2018

Amazon’s search for an HQ2 -- which it turned out will be a couple of expanded branch offices in New York City and the Washington area, according to multiple reports -- was tacky but successful, at least in the short term. Holding a public municipal competition for Amazon’s affection was a master stroke that generated maximum exposure for the company, delivered it valuable information about cities and states and pitted local governments against one another to extract gains for Amazon.

A different trajectory for funding space science missions

November 15, 2018

NASA’s planetary science program has enjoyed significant support over the last several years. After post-sequestration cuts trimmed the program’s budget to less than $1.3 billion in 2013, it’s grown significantly in subsequent years, exceeding $2.2 billion in 2018. The House version of a fiscal year 2019 spending bill, approved by appropriators in May but yet to be considered by the full House, proposed nearly $2.76 billion for the program.

NASA Certifies Falcon 9 to Carry Its Most Important Spacecraft

November 15, 2018

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket does not have a spotless record. In the last few years, SpaceX has lost one vehicle on the launchpad and another broke apart en route to the International Space Station (ISS). Yet, SpaceX is on a roll as it nears three dozen successful Falcon 9 launches in a row. The company is also cruising toward certification to ferry astronauts to the ISS.

The Tech Companies That Are Eager to Sell AI to the Pentagon

November 15, 2018

While Silicon Valley workers continue to protest their employers selling artificial intelligence products to the US military, the US military is still looking to spend money on AI. The Army Research Lab, the Project Maven team, and the US Department of Defense’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center will host technology companies later this month in Maryland, where the government will view private demonstrations.

US panel warns against gov't purchase of Chinese tech

November 15, 2018

A congressional advisory panel says the purchase of internet-linked devices manufactured in China leaves the United States vulnerable to security breaches that could put critical infrastructure at risk. In its annual report on Wednesday, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission warns of dangers to the U.S. government and private sector from a reliance on global supply chains linked to China, which is the world's largest manufacturer of information technology equipment.

Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook's Leaders Fought Through Crisis

November 15, 2018

While Mr. Zuckerberg has conducted a public apology tour in the last year, Ms. Sandberg has overseen an aggressive lobbying campaign to combat Facebook’s critics, shift public anger toward rival companies and ward off damaging regulation. Facebook employed a Republican opposition-research firm to discredit activist protesters, in part by linking them to the liberal financier George Soros. It also tapped its business relationships, lobbying a Jewish civil rights group to cast some criticism of the company as anti-Semitic.

Five ways Amazon HQ2 could impact the DC area

November 14, 2018

While Virginia and D.C. officials tout Amazon’s arrival as an economic boon to greater Washington, an influx of expensive labor could pose steep costs for the area’s most vulnerable residents. From housing prices to political pressure, here are five ways Amazon’s new headquarters could affect the D.C. area...

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