Science & Technology
Black hole that 'rings' like a bell shows Einstein was right
Try as we might, we just can’t prove Einstein wrong. One prediction of his theory of general relativity is that black holes are simple objects - and listening to them “ring” indicates this is true.
A National Framework is Needed for Privacy Protection
It is a rare occasion when business interests come together and tell the government, “please regulate us.” But that is exactly what is occurring in the area of data privacy. On September 10, 2019, fifty-one companies joined together in a letter to House and Senate leadership asking them to pass “a comprehensive data privacy law that strengthens protections for consumers and establishes a national privacy framework to enable continued innovation and growth in the digital economy.”
China is trying to steal military space tech. The US is running stings to stop it.
The theft of US technology by Chinese companies, many state-backed, is among the key drivers of the trade war between the two nations that is roiling the global economy. In 2018, the US Department of Justice launched a major effort to prevent China from illicitly obtaining US technology. In July, FBI director Christopher Wray said his agency had more than 1,000 open investigations into Chinese intellectual-property theft.
No Date Set Yet, But NASA Targeting Second Half of 2024 for Human Moon Landing
For six months, NASA has been chasing big plans to land humans near the south pole of the moon in 2024. That deadline came from Vice President Mike Pence in March and represented a significant increase in speed from the human moon landing's previous timeline, targeting 2028. The project has since been dubbed the Artemis program, a nod to the fact that NASA plans to include a female astronaut in the moon landing for the first time.
NASA manager casts doubt on 2024 moon landing by astronauts
A top NASA manager cast doubt Wednesday on the space agency's ability to land astronauts on the moon by 2024. Kenneth Bowersox, acting associate administrator for human exploration and operations, told a Congressional subcommittee that NASA is doing its best to meet the White House-imposed deadline. But he noted: "I wouldn't bet my oldest child's upcoming birthday present or anything like that."
Milky Way's black hole appears to be getting hungrier
UCLA astronomers announced on September 11, 2019, that, last May, they caught the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy having an unusually large meal of interstellar gas and dust. They caught the feast on May 13 (although of course it happened some 25,000 years ago earlier, since the center of the galaxy is about 25,000 light-years away).
Big Tech, Meet Big Brother
With Big Tech accused of everything from decimating industries to abusing privacy, calls are growing for the creation of a federal regulator. Presidential candidates, consumer advocates and some antitrust enforcers have focused on breaking up Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google -- or at least forcing them to unwind past acquisitions. Yet those moves could take years and face lengthy court challenges.
Robots Won't Take Away All Our Jobs, MIT Report Finds
The robots are coming, but not necessarily for your job. The likelihood that robots, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will completely wipe out large swaths of the workforce is exaggerated, a new MIT report finds. The report, from MIT's "Work of the Future" task force, examines the relationship between technology and work, drawing on research from more than 20 faculty members.
Transplant organs can be supercooled to below zero for longer storage
The length of time that a liver can be kept outside the body has been extended to a day and a half by a new “supercooling” method, which for the first time has let human organs be safely stored at sub-zero temperatures. The technique, which lowers the organ’s temperature below zero without forming damaging ice crystals, could boost the number of liver transplants carried out and could also be used on other organs, says Reinier de Vries of Harvard Medical School in Boston.
A space elevator to the moon could be doable - and surprisingly cheap
Since the dawn of the space era more than six decades ago, there’s been just one way to get to the moon and back: rockets. But a pair of graduate students say we should now be able to ferry humans and cargo between Earth and our natural satellite via a sort of high-tech elevator.