Science & Technology

SpaceX Deploys 60 More Starlink Satellites in Record-Breaking Launch

November 12, 2019

It has been a quiet fall for SpaceX, which launched a Falcon 9 rocket early August before taking a break to prepare for future missions. Now, SpaceX has successfully deployed a new batch of Starlink internet satellites, and the Falcon 9 that delivered them made history in the process.

Google has been gathering health data on millions of US citizens in hospital partnership

November 12, 2019

Google LLC has been busily collecting health data on millions of Americans across 21 states, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. The initiative, which Google seemed to have kept secret from the public, is codenamed “Project Nightingale.” Documents obtained by the Journal reveal that the heath data has been shared in partnership with St. Louis-based chain of hospitals called Ascension, a Catholic hospital that calls itself “a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care.”

Voyager 2 reaches interstellar space: Scientists detect plasma density jump

November 11, 2019

Voyager 1 has a companion in the realm of the stars. Researchers at the University of Iowa report that the spacecraft Voyager 2 has entered the interstellar medium (ISM), the region of space outside the bubble-shaped boundary produced by wind streaming outward from the sun. Voyager 2, thus, becomes the second human-made object to journey out of our sun's influence, following Voyager 1's solar exit in 2012.

Why Astronomers Worry About the Brightness of SpaceX's Starlink Satellite Megaconstellation

November 11, 2019

When the company launched its first set of Starlink internet satellites in May, those with their eyes attuned to the night sky immediately realized that the objects were incredibly bright. Professional astronomers worried the satellites would interfere with scientific observations and amateur appreciation of the stars.

U.S. should consider pooling AI data with other countries, commission says

November 11, 2019

Data is a multi-billion dollar industry, and it will only grow as data-fueled technologies like AI become more advanced. It's used to train powerful AI systems to recognize patterns in human and machine behavior, to train AI on images, sounds, and objects. Essentially data is AI's window to the outside world. However, huge amounts of data are needed to train AI systems effectively, and China collects more data from its civilians than any other country.

NASA Opens Untouched Apollo Moon Rock Sample for First Time in 40 Years

November 10, 2019

Scientists at Johnson Space Center's Lunar Curation Laboratory in Houston opened the Apollo 17-recovered sample on Tuesday (Nov. 5). The 1.5-inch-wide (4-centimeter) tube holding the small stash of moon rocks and dust was sealed by astronauts Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt during the second of their three moonwalks on Dec. 12, 1972.

Trump tech chief criticizes Chinese surveillance in first major international remarks

November 08, 2019

President Trump's newly appointed Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios on Thursday criticized Chinese surveillance and censorship in his first major international remarks, ramping up the Trump administration's intensifying battle to beat out China's fast-growing tech industry. Kratsios, who was confirmed as the White House's top tech adviser in August, spent the bulk of a keynote speech in Portugal urging Europe and the U.S. to "embrace innovation and defend our free system against our adversaries."

Eighth-grader Invents Brilliant Way to Delete Drivers' Blind Spots, Wins $25,000

November 06, 2019

An eighth-grader from West Grove, Pennsylvania, Alaina Gassler, has invented something so brilliant it probably should’ve been obvious to automakers years ago: It’s a system that uses cameras and projectors to eliminate blindspots in cars, allowing drivers to have far more visibility of the environment around them than normal.

SpaceX and Boeing are one big step closer to launching astronauts into space

November 06, 2019

By escaping the launchpad--where a disaster like a rocket explosion could theoretically take place--and touching down nearby, the company's CST-100 Starliner spacecraft passed a crucial flight test Monday morning. It was one of two major remaining trials before NASA can certify the vehicle ready to carry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).

Silicon Valley lawmakers introduce tough privacy bill to regulate top social media platforms

November 06, 2019

A pair of California Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday introduced a tough privacy bill that would significantly curtail Silicon Valley's control over all Americans' personal information. The bill, introduced by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), would create a new federal agency to oversee how the country's largest and most powerful tech companies amass and use data about their millions of users across the U.S. It would also grant all users expansive rights over their data.

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