Science & Technology

New Horizons spacecraft wakes up to prepare for historic flyby of distant object

June 12, 2018

The spacecraft will now begin preparations for a New Year's flyby encounter with the farthest planetary encounter in history. The spacecraft is currently traveling more than 3.7 billion miles (6 billion kilometers) from Earth through the icy band of debris surrounding the solar system beyond Neptune called the Kuiper Belt, and it will spend the upcoming months preparing for its encounter with a small Kuiper Belt object, nicknamed Ultima Thule.

How much screen time is too much? Here are the limits 10 tech executives set for their kids

June 12, 2018

Before having kids, tech entrepreneur Nirav Tolia spent hours online each day catching up on his favorite sports teams, doing research, or scrolling through social media. Now the father of three young sons, Tolia, the co-founder and chief executive of neighborhood-based social network Nextdoor, goes out of his way to put his smartphone down so he and his wife can lead by example for their kids.

Google Sets Limits on Its Use of AI but Allows Defense Work

June 12, 2018

Earlier this year, Google CEO Sundar Pichai described artificial intelligence as more profound to humanity than fire. Thursday, after protests from thousands of Google employees over a Pentagon project, Pichai offered guidelines for how Google will--and won’t--use the technology. One thing Pichai says Google won’t do: work on AI for weapons. But the guidelines leave much to the discretion of company executives and allow Google to continue to work for the military.

The 7 most in-demand tech jobs for 2018 - and how to hire for them

June 11, 2018

As companies scramble to adapt to the modern workforce, they’re doing whatever they can to attract top tech talent. For some that may mean getting a head start in filling next year’s most in-demand roles, which range from data-focused to security-related positions, according to Robert Half Technology’s 2018 IT salary report. The survey also reveals the average salaries for each role based off experience.

Is America's AI strategy sufficient to keep up with rivals?

June 11, 2018

This new focus on AI is part of the US’s renewed drive to advance its at-home capabilities, to keep up with competitors, such as China and Russia. The news is somewhat of a change of heart from the Trump administration. Some members of the government had previously shown initial skepticism about the technology, which contrasted starkly with China’s full-throttle approach.

Does It Matter If China Beats the US to Build a 5G Network?

June 11, 2018

"The United States will not get a second chance to win the global 5G race," Meredith Attwell Baker, president and CEO of the wireless industry group CTIA, warned in April, when the group released a report concluding that the US trails China and South Korea in preparing for 5G (fifth generation) networks. If that doesn’t change, the report warns, the US economy will suffer.

This Is the Week that the Drone Surveillance State Became Real

June 11, 2018

Affordable consumer technology has made surveillance cheap and commoditized AI software has made it automatic. Those two trends merged this week, when drone manufacturer DJI partnered June 5 with Axon, the company that makes Taser weapons and police body cameras, to sell drones to local police departments around the United States. Now, not only do local police have access to drones, but footage from those flying cameras will be automatically analyzed by AI systems not disclosed to the public.

The US Again Has the World's Most Powerful Supercomputer

June 10, 2018

Plenty of people around the world got new gadgets Friday, but one in Eastern Tennessee stands out. Summit, a new supercomputer unveiled at Oak Ridge National Lab is, unofficially for now, the most powerful calculating machine on the planet. It was designed in part to scale up the artificial intelligence techniques that power some of the recent tricks in your smartphone.

Curiosity Rover Discovers Ancient 'Building Blocks for Life' on Mars

June 08, 2018

Organic molecules are considered one of the basic building blocks of life. The compounds discovered on Mars could have been produced by living things, or they could have been food for those living things. This doesn’t constitute proof that life existed on Mars, though. Other processes that have nothing to do with living organisms can create organic compounds as well. Still, this discovery is very encouraging in the context of what we know about Mars in the distant past.

This chart shows how China is dominating fintech

June 08, 2018

Even at a European conference about fintech, one country dominated the conversation: China. This week, hundreds of fintech companies, from startups to tech giants, gathered at the Money 20/20 conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands. One key theme at the gathering was China's leading role in the fintech industry.

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