Science & Technology

Microsoft Pushes 'Mixed Reality' Features With Windows 10 Update

September 07, 2017

Microsoft is to update its flagship operating system next month so that the latest generation of Windows 10 hardware devices and software can tap into augmented and virtual reality technologies, executives said on Friday. The software upgrade, its fourth update, will be offered from Oct. 17 to existing customers of Windows 10 running on more than 500 million devices, the company said.

House passes bill paving the way for driverless cars

September 07, 2017

The House passed a bipartisan driverless car bill on Wednesday, advancing what could become the first set of federal laws for the emerging industry. The “Self Drive Act” was unanimously approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee in July, before Congress left for August recess, and passed the full House on a voice vote.

White House to nominate U.S. Rep. Bridenstine for NASA post

September 06, 2017

Initially a long-shot candidate, Bridenstine won the support of the private space industry with his work on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and advocacy for public-private cooperation in space-based communications and exploration. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Bridenstine would become the first Oklahoman to lead NASA and one of the few NASA administrators without a science or space background. Bridenstine is a military pilot who formerly headed the Tulsa Air and Space Museum.

Budget battle looms for US science programmes

September 06, 2017

Scientists in the United States are nervously watching from the sidelines as the annual budget skirmish heats up in Congress this week. Legislators are back in Washington DC from their August recess with an urgent list of tasks to complete before the country's fiscal year closes at the end of September. In addition to passing a budget to fund the government, they must also raise the debt ceiling so that the country does not default on its loans, and discuss providing emergency-relief funding for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Autonomous Vehicle Technology Will Create Winners and Losers in Transport Industries

September 06, 2017

Workers in the trucking and other industries which move people and goods could find themselves squeezed out of those jobs by the rise of self-driving trucks. And those workers whose jobs are dependent on mobility -- such as plumbers, home-health aids, postal workers and others -- could benefit from a car that drives itself.

Private companies drive 'new space race' at NASA center

September 05, 2017

For the first time since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011, NASA says it may soon have the capability to send astronauts to the International Space Station from U.S. soil. Critical milestones are on the horizon for Boeing and SpaceX, the space agency's commercial crew partners: Flight tests of their spacecraft, including crewed missions, are planned for 2018.

Are Consumers Ready to Give Augmented Reality a Try?

September 05, 2017

Of the dozen or so apps demoed recently for Android and iPhones, the ones showing the most promise are furniture apps. From a catalog or a website, it's hard to tell whether a sofa or a bed will actually fit in your room. Even if it fits, will it be far enough from other pieces of furniture for someone to walk through? With AR, you can go to your living room or bedroom and add an item you're thinking of buying. The phone maps out the dimensions of your room and scales the virtual item automatically;...

Google, Apple face off over augmented reality technology

September 05, 2017

Phone-based augmented reality (AR), in which digital objects are superimposed onto the real world on screen, got a huge boost from the popularity of the Pokémon Go game. The game, launched in the United States in July last year, sent players into city streets, offices, parks and restaurants to search for colorful animated characters. Analysts expected the game to make $3 billion for Apple over two years as gamers buy “PokéCoins” from its app store.

Leading AI country will be 'ruler of the world,' says Putin

September 05, 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Friday (Sept. 1, 2017) that the country that becomes the leader in developing artificial intelligence will be “the ruler of the world,” reports the Associated Press. AI development “raises colossal opportunities and threats that are difficult to predict now,” Putin said in a lecture to students, warning that “it would be strongly undesirable if someone wins a monopolist position.”

'American Space Ninja' Back On Earth After Record-Breaking Flight

September 05, 2017

Imagine more than 600 days in space; that's 21 months cruising the cosmos, or close to two years without flush toilets or pizza. On Saturday, Astronaut Peggy Whitson touched down in Kazakhstan at 9:21 p.m. EDT alongside a fellow American and a Russian in their Soyuz capsule, wrapping up a record-breaking mission.

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