Science & Technology

How long would it take to cross the Milky Way at light speed?

July 10, 2018

The disk of our home galaxy - the Milky Way - is bigger than we previously thought. A new study shows it would take 200,000 years for a spaceship traveling at the speed of light to go across the entire galaxy.

China reliant on US core technology for some time, but so is the world

July 10, 2018

As the so-called ZTE incident enters the next phase, the line coming out of China has changed from bravado to humility. The Global Times lamented the “huge gap” in technology that would require “generations of arduous efforts to overcome”, while the Communist Party's Beijing Daily said China was “not amazing” in certain areas, a tongue-in-cheek reference to a recent propaganda film called Amazing China.

China isn't playing tech catch up - it's leapfrog and it may get dirty

July 09, 2018

The editor of China’s Science and Technology Daily caused a stir last month when he described “the large gap in science and technology between China and developed countries in the West, including the US” and spoke of the obstacles China faces in catching up with more technologically advanced nations. It goes against the narrative of technological achievement trumpeted by Beijing, but he was right about how far China lags behind the US.

China Wind Tech Firm Hit with $59 Million Fine for Theft of U.S. Trade Secrets

July 08, 2018

A District judge ruled Friday Chinese turbine manufacturer Sinovel Wind Group Co. must pay $59 million in a plot to steal trade secrets from a U.S. rival. In January, a federal court in Wisconsin convicted Sinovel of stealing trade secrets from AMSC and nearly putting it out of business.

Here's What the White House's AI Committee Will Focus On

July 05, 2018

As part of the first meeting of the Interagency Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence, the members established two subcommittees to tackle specific areas: the Machine Learning and AI, or MLAI, Subcommittee, which will act as the operations and implementation arm of the committee; and the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development, or NITRD, Subcommittee, which will establish a new interagency research and development working group in conjunction with the federally funded NITRD program.

Is Facebook a publisher? In public it says no, but in court it says yes

July 05, 2018

The contradictory claim is Facebook’s latest tactic against a high-profile lawsuit, exposing a growing tension for the Silicon Valley corporation, which has long presented itself as neutral platform that does not have traditional journalistic responsibilities.

California passes digital privacy bill that could have impact across U.S.

July 04, 2018

The law, passed by the state legislature on Tuesday and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, requires companies to disclose the types of data they collect about consumers and with whom they share that information. Companies will be forced to let consumers opt-out of having their data sold. The law will also prohibit companies from charging a consumer or treating them differently because they opted out of having their data sold.

Big Tech Is the Next Space Race, and the US Is Already Losing

July 04, 2018

In 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, and the U.S. government freaked out. The Sputnik crisis, as it was called, launched the international space race, and the U.S. threw billions of government dollars into aerospace and military projects to keep up with the Soviet Union. A new report by the Atlantic Council claims that now, in 2018, we should be in the middle of another Sputnik crisis, but this time over the possibility that Chinese companies might soon out-tech Silicon Valley and the entire U.S. technology sector.

China firm develops 'laser gun'

July 04, 2018

A Chinese firm has developed a laser gun designed for police use that can set fire to protesters' hair or banners from a range of almost one kilometre. The general manager of the ZKZM fiber laser company, who asked to remain anonymous, said the weapon would "immediately" produce a "strong pain response" in the target but stressed it was designed to be "non-lethal".

Project Maven Is Just the Beginning of the Military's Use of AI

July 02, 2018

A top Air Force general said the military needs to expand its use of artificial intelligence -- like that being used in the controversial Project Maven effort -- if it wants to stay ahead of peer competitors and deter war. Gen. James Holmes, who leads Air Combat Command, is among the first flag officers to publicly defend the Pentagon’s algorithmic-image-analysis program since Google said it would not renew its contract following an outcry by its employees.

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