Science & Technology

Facebook labelled 'digital gangsters' by report on fake news

February 20, 2019

Facebook deliberately broke privacy and competition law and should urgently be subject to statutory regulation, according to a devastating parliamentary report denouncing the company and its executives as “digital gangsters”. The final report of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee’s 18-month investigation into disinformation and fake news accused Facebook of purposefully obstructing its inquiry and failing to tackle attempts by Russia to manipulate elections.

The U.S. must continue to invest in artificial intelligence to compete with China

February 20, 2019

“Artificial Intelligence” (AI) may bring to mind any number of futuristic pop culture references, from “Star Wars” to “Westworld”, and it may seem like something that’s decades or even centuries away. The reality is that AI is already here - it’s in the apps we use to navigate through traffic, it protects us from spam emails and more nefarious online security threats, and it’s what responds when we say “OK Google...” and “Alexa?”

California Governor Wants Users to Profit From Online Data

February 20, 2019

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has set off a flurry of speculation after he said the state's consumers should get a piece of the billions of dollars that technology companies make by capitalizing on personal data they collect. The new governor has asked aides to develop a proposal for a "data dividend" for California residents but provided no hints about whether he might be suggesting a tax on tech companies, an individual refund to their customers or something else.

Skeptical of Artificial Intelligence? You Can Blame the Media This Time

February 20, 2019

Unfortunately, we seem to be sleepwalking into our AI future without talking about what we want from it, or how to make sure it is used responsibly. Part of the blame lies with the news media’s coverage of AI. Recent studies find that media treatment of AI mostly follows industry announcements and new product launches, helping to purvey the industry’s self-interested view of AI’s value and desirability. The public, by contrast, seems to be more cautious -- and overwhelmingly in favor of close management of AI, preferably not by tech companies themselves.

NASA Finds Second Impact Crater Under Greenland Ice Sheet

February 19, 2019

Greenland’s ice sheet is the second largest body of ice in the world, so scientists are naturally interested in how it’s changing with the climate and what’s under there. Recent studies of the ice sheet with radar revealed something unexpected: an impact crater. What’s more unexpected than an impact crater? A second impact crater. NASA says it just spotted a second crater just over a hundred miles from the first one, and the team believes they formed at different times.

Musk Says Tickets to Mars Could Cost Just $500,000

February 19, 2019

No amount of money will buy you a ticket to Mars right now, but SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says the cost of relocating to another planet could be $500,000 in the not-too-distant future. If you decide you don’t like it on Mars, no problem; you can come back to Earth for free. Musk cautions that his ballpark estimate is highly dependent on volume, though.

Trump Officially Directs Pentagon to Create Space Force, Within Air Force

February 19, 2019

In a White House ceremony on Tuesday, Trump formally directed his acting defense secretary to prepare a legislative proposal for Congress, which has the final say in the matter. Defense officials said the proposal, which has actually been in planning for months, is slated for delivery to lawmakers on Feb. 25.

Senator Rubio: The U.S. Has No Industrial Policy To Counter China Made In 2025

February 19, 2019

The takeaway from Washington is this: You cannot have the No. 1 economy in the world be a capitalist, democratic system and the No. 2 economy be a hybrid capitalist system ruled by the communist party, a party that sets the table for economic development. The rules are totally different. Something’s got to give. So far, China has opened a bit more, and the U.S. has closed a bit more by way of increasing trade tariffs.

The promise of 5G wireless - speed, hype, risk

February 18, 2019

A much-hyped network upgrade called "5G" means different things to different people. To industry proponents, it's the next huge innovation in wireless internet. To the U.S. government, it's the backbone technology of a future that America will wrestle with China to control. To many average people, it's simply a mystery.

Space will likely be a battlefield in any U.S. conflict with China, Russia

February 18, 2019

A new U.S. intelligence report warns that both China and Russia are investing in weapons that could attack U.S. satellites and assets in space, and that both nations are now preparing to use space as a battlefield. Last month, the Defense Intelligence Agency released a report about China's military capabilities, warning that the Asian country was making advances in counterspace technology that could threaten U.S. satellites responsible for communications, reconnaissance, GPS and early warnings of missile launches.

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