Science & Technology

Eliminating the Human

August 17, 2017

I have a theory that much recent tech development and innovation over the last decade or so has an unspoken overarching agenda. It has been about creating the possibility of a world with less human interaction. This tendency is, I suspect, not a bug--it’s a feature. We might think Amazon was about making books available to us that we couldn’t find locally--and it was, and what a brilliant idea--but maybe it was also just as much about eliminating human contact.

Solar Eclipse 2017: What you can (and can't) see in New York City

August 17, 2017

New York City isn't in the "path of totality," but millions of New Yorkers will be able to see a partial solar eclipse on Aug. 21 -- and it's totally worth checking out, local astrophysicist and science celebrity Neil deGrasse Tyson said yesterday (Aug. 14) in a briefing at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH).

High-profile investors, including Laurene Powell Jobs, just put $80 million into Color Genomics

August 17, 2017

Color Genomics, a start-up that sells genetic tests to assess cancer and other health risks, just raised an additional $80 million from a slew of high-profile investors. That brings its total financing to $150 million, making it one of the most well-funded health-technology companies in Silicon Valley.

Lack of broadband hurts higher ed in rural areas

August 16, 2017

The lack of high-speed internet services in many rural areas is one of the challenges hindering Florida's efforts to increase college degrees and spur economic development, a new report shows. Some 680,000 Floridians do not have access to a broadband internet service that would allow information to be downloaded at minimum speed of 25 megabits per second, according to the report presented Monday to the state Higher Education Coordinating Council.

NASA May Use Atomic Rockets to Reach Mars

August 16, 2017

An atomic rocket has the potential to move more mass a much greater distance than traditional chemical propulsion. SpaceX will have its Falcon Heavy rocket in service within a year or two, making it the most powerful launch platform since the retirement of NASA’s Saturn V. But even the Falcon Heavy will only be able to lift 37,000 pounds (16,800 kg) to Mars.

Defense Secretary Mattis predicts bigger defense role for private technology firms

August 15, 2017

Like the leaders of these tech companies, Mattis is focused on acquiring more expertise in artificial intelligence. The difference is his goal: getting it into the U.S. military faster, to make it a "more lethal and more effective" fighting force. "Many of the advances [in AI] are out here in private companies," Mattis told reporters after touring the Mountain View, California, location of the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental.

China says US trade probe would violate international rules

August 15, 2017

China criticized President Donald Trump’s order for a possible U.S. trade investigation of Beijing’s technology policies as a violation of global rules and said Tuesday it will “resolutely safeguard” Chinese interests.

President Trump Takes Action on Intellectual Property Rights

August 15, 2017

Today (8/14) at the White House, President Donald J. Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum asking the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to investigate China’s laws, policies, practices, and actions. The President was joined by Secretary Wilbur Ross, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn, and Director of the White House National Trade Council Peter Navarro.

The US military is getting closer to deploying lasers and rail guns -- here's how they might be used

August 14, 2017

Long relegated to the world of science fiction, lasers and rail guns are increasingly appearing in real life. Railguns use electromagnets to fire projectiles at supersonic speeds, while lasers fire pure energy bursts.

Trump to ramp up trade pressure on China with call for probe on Monday

August 14, 2017

President Donald Trump on Monday will order his top trade adviser to determine whether to investigate Chinese trade practices that force U.S. firms operating in China to turn over intellectual property, senior administration officials said on Saturday.

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