Science & Technology

Acting SecDef Under Investigation for Boeing Ties: Pentagon Watchdog

March 25, 2019

The Defense Department’s inspector general confirmed on Wednesday that it has launched an investigation of acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on whether he has made decisions overly favorable to his former employer, airline industry giant Boeing.

Tesla Joins Apple in Trade Secret Cases Tied to China's Xpeng

March 25, 2019

Tesla Inc. accused one of its former engineers of stealing highly confidential autopilot information before bolting to Chinese rival Xpeng Motors, eight months after one of Apple Inc.’s ex-employees was charged with taking sensitive robocar secrets to a new job with that same company.

New White House Science Budget Seeks Familiar Cuts

March 25, 2019

Another year, another round of spending cuts; and, perhaps, another case of Congress riding to the rescue? The White House's budget request for the 2020 fiscal year, released today, once again seeks to scale back research programs across government, though most of the details will wait until next week. That's because the White House is issuing its annual proposal to Congress in phases, with only a 150-page budget overview released today.

Dunford to meet with Google for 'debate' on Chinese ties

March 24, 2019

Google has requested a meeting with a top U.S. general as political tension rises over the internet giant’s artificial intelligence work in China. General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Thursday that Google "indirectly benefits the Chinese military" and is planning to meet with the company over the matter. The Pentagon official cited a Google AI lab that opened in Beijing in 2017 as a cause of concern.

New Trump tech czar seeks 'American dominance,' focus on 5G, internet access, drones

March 24, 2019

For the first time in two years--and for the first time under President Trump--the U.S. is set to have a chief technology officer. On March 21 the president will nominate for the post Michael Kratsios, a former venture capitalist who now serves as deputy CTO, a White House official tells Bloomberg Businessweek. Kratsios is just 32, but he’s exceedingly well-connected, having served as chief of staff at investment management firm Thiel Capital before joining Trump’s transition team in late 2016.

US allies defy Trump administration's plea to ban Huawei from 5G networks

March 24, 2019

Europe and the U.S. are clashing over Huawei’s role in the future of 5G. While Donald Trump’s administration has tried to pressure allied countries, including those in Europe, to ban the Chinese firm from being included in the rollout of the next generation of mobile networking technologies, nations including the U.K. and Germany aren’t listening.

ASTRA's STEM on the Hill State STEM & Innovation Report Cards for 2019

March 21, 2019

Now in its 19th year of publication, ASTRA’s STEM on the Hill™ State STEM Report Cards series illustrates the importance of scientific and engineering research and STEM Education to state and local economies, job growth, innovation, competitiveness, our standard of living and U.S. national security. A variety of measurements, including data from ASTRA, EMSI, the Small Business Technology Council, EPSCoR/IDeA Foundation and key U.S. Government statistical sources provide context to these reports. These metrics help users compare their own state with others.

The troubling state of consumer privacy: We've entered a 'trust apocalypse' era - now what?

March 21, 2019

It’s been a year since news broke of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which political operatives improperly took advantage of Facebook user data to influence elections in the U.S. and Europe. The fallout has caused consumer trust to plummet and encouraged regulators to look more seriously at the power that big tech companies wield.

NASA 2020 Budget Proposal Boosts Exploration, Downplays Science

March 20, 2019

Rocket science is easy. It's finding the funding for it that's hard. The Presidential Budget Request for NASA for the fiscal year 2020 is $21.019 billion -- higher than the FY2018 budget, and much higher than the lean years earlier this decade. At the same time, it also represents a 2.2% drop, nearly half a billion dollars, from the just-approved 2019 budget.

Why the 2020 Defense Budget Massively Pushes Hypersonic Weapons

March 20, 2019

The Air Force increased 2020 budget push takes another step in an aggressive plan to prototype, test and deploy hypersonic weapons on an expedited schedule -- to defend against enemy attacks by fast-tracking an ability to launch high-impact, high-speed attacks at Mach. 5 - five times the speed of sound.

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