Science & Technology

Why the Surge in Violence Against Robots Matters

May 09, 2017

In the midst of fulminating about an approaching robot apocalypse, a strange and disturbing counter trend is taking place: the rise of violence against robots. While fears of robots often turn upon suppositions that are still largely unproven, such as whether robots will achieve super-intelligence or come to dominate the workplace, the latter phenomena is fast accruing a solid and tangible corpus of evidence.

Don't fear the robots, embrace the potential

May 09, 2017

The implementation of robotic process automation (RPA) is enabling enterprises to execute business processes 5-10 times faster with an average of 37 percent fewer resources, according to a report released this week by Information Services Group (ISG). However, the productivity gains are not necessarily leading to mass layoffs, but rather the redeployment of employees to handle higher-value tasks and a greater volume of work, according to ISG.

20 things we don;t do anymore because of technology

May 08, 2017

We all know technology is making things easier and less time-consuming, but it’s hard to believe how much our devices have transformed the way we live. Tasks and tools that once were routine now seem hopelessly out of date, after only a few years. Example: Who would post an ad on the personals page of a local newspaper?

Planetary Science Just Got Its Best Budget in Years

May 08, 2017

The President signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017, which funds the U.S. government for the remainder of the fiscal year. NASA received $19.65 billion -- its best budget since 2010 -- and the Planetary Science Division saw its budget increase to $1.846 billion -- its best budget in more than ten years.

Apple to invest $1B in fund to create U.S. manufacturing jobs

May 04, 2017

The fund comes as President Donald Trump has made bringing back manufacturing jobs a big part of his agenda, and it fits into Apple's larger effort to create jobs across its spectrum, from its own employees to app developers to its suppliers. As advanced manufacturing jobs are in high demand in the U.S., the sector was already high on Apple's list of priorities, and Cook hopes the investment will spur even more job creation.

Robotic system can 3-D print basic structure of an entire building

May 03, 2017

MIT researchers have designed a “Digital Construction Platform” system that can 3-D print the basic structure of an entire building. It could enable faster, cheaper, more adaptable building construction -- replacing traditional fabrication technologies that are dangerous, slow, and energy-intensive in the annual $8.5 trillion construction industry.

Cassini's First Grand Finale Images of Saturn Are In, and They're Stunning

May 03, 2017

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has been observing Saturn since 2004, but mission control has been careful not to get close to the ringed planet for fear of damaging the probe. Now, Cassini is nearly out of fuel, and it’s time to take some risks. Cassini began altering its trajectory early this week for the “Grand Finale,” a series of orbits that will take the spacecraft closer to Saturn than ever before.

Is Donald Trump right about H-1B visa abuse?

May 03, 2017

In one of the more egregious abuses of the program, the Times reported, Tata Consultancy Services used H-1B workers to watch how Toys R Us accountants did their jobs, ultimately leading to the jobs moving overseas. As one example, the newspaper reported that an H-1B visa employee sat next to a Toys R Us accountant and “studied and recorded the accountant’s every keystroke, taking screen shots of her computer and detailed notes on how she issued payments for toys sold in the company’s megastores.”

Here's why women, blacks and Hispanics are leaving tech

May 02, 2017

Toxic workplaces -- where harassment, stereotyping and bullying occur -- are driving away women and people of color, undercutting technology companies' efforts to increase diversity and costing an estimated $16 billion a year.

Rethinking internet policy will boost connected economy

May 01, 2017

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's announcement that he will seek to restore U.S. innovation policy to the modern, bipartisan approach that has guided the internet's growth and evolution in our country for more than two decades is a huge win for consumers, our connected economy and our digital democracy.

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