Science & Technology

Self-driving cars see better with cameras that mimic mantis shrimp vision

October 18, 2018

The camera -- which detects polarized light, or light waves vibrating on a single plane -- has roughly half a million sensors that each capture a wide range of light and dark spots within a single frame, somewhat similar to how mantis shrimps see the world.

Not everyone is ready to ride as autonomous vehicles take to the road in ever-increasing numbers

October 17, 2018

Pennsylvania regulators this week gave the nod to Aurora, an autonomous vehicle software company, to begin testing its prototypes on state roads, joining a growing list of states, from Alabama to Washington and, of course, California, that have approved public testing.

50 years after Apollo moonshots, will rivalry with China spark a new space race?

October 17, 2018

An American rivalry with China could stoke a new space race in the years ahead, prominent members of the space community said at a session marking the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo missions. But it may not play out the way the U.S.-Soviet space race did, said Scott Pace, executive secretary for the White House’s National Space Council.  Billionaire-backed space efforts such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin could play a leading role, he said.

Microsoft co-founder leaves legacy of innovation, philanthropy, bold bets

October 16, 2018

Paul G. Allen, who founded Microsoft with Bill Gates before making his mark in technology investing, sports ownership, commercial space, global philanthropy, the environment, museums and the arts, has died at the age of 65, two weeks after announcing that he was diagnosed with a recurrence of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to a statement Monday from his company Vulcan.

One of the world's most important crop gene storehouses just got a funding boost

October 16, 2018

Safeguarding all crops stored in the world’s roughly 25 major gene banks would take an endowment of about $850 million. So far, the Crop Trust has raised about $300 million for its seed bank endowment, with contributions mainly from the United States, Norway, and Germany. So, “We have some ways to go,” Haga says.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos Says Tech Companies Should Work With the Pentagon

October 16, 2018

“If big tech companies are going to turn their back on US Department of Defense, this country is going to be in trouble,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said Monday, defending government contracts amid a wave of employee protests.

How to Check If Your Facebook Account Got Hacked--and How Badly

October 15, 2018

At the end of last month, Facebook made a bombshell disclosure: As many as 90 million of its users may have had their so-called access tokens--which keep you logged into your account, so you don't have to sign in every time--stolen by hackers. Friday, the company put the actual number at 30 million. Here's how to see if you were one of them, and if so, what the hackers got from your account.

Artificial Intelligence & Human Rights: Opportunities & Risks

October 14, 2018

Artificial intelligence (“AI”) is changing the world before our eyes. The promise of AI to improve our lives is enormous. AI-based systems are already outperforming medical specialists in diagnosing certain diseases, while the use of AI in the financial system is expanding access to credit to borrowers that were once passed by.

White House Announces Strategic Plans to Push American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing

October 11, 2018

Continuing its efforts to build up the manufacturing sector, on Oct. 5 The White House released a 40-page report, Strategy for American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing, compiled by the National Science and Technology Council Subcommittee on Advanced Manufacturing.

Space tourism may happen sooner than you think

October 11, 2018

British billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson believes Virgin Galactic is "more than tantalizingly close" to its first trip to space. "We should be in space within weeks, not months. And then we will be in space with myself in months and not years...

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