Science & technology

China‘s secret plan to topple the US as the world’s superpower

In 1995, Michael Pillsbury, an expert on China who has worked with every US president since Nixon and has, he writes, “arguably had more access to China’s military and intelligence establishment than any other Westerner,” was reading an article written by “three of China’s preeminent military experts” about “new technologies that would contribute to the defeat of the United States.”

New software analyzes human genomes for disease-causing variations in 90 minutes

Investigators at Nationwide Children’s Hospital say they have developed an optimized analysis “pipeline” that slashes the time it takes to search a person’s genome for disease-causing variations from weeks to hours.

You Might Not Have Broadband Anymore

If you don’t think your home Internet service is as fast as it ought to be, federal regulators are inclined to agree. On Wednesday the U.S. Federal Communications Commission proposed new rules for regulating the Internet (see “FCC Chief Proposes Broader Net Neutrality Rules”), which the FCC says will help it ensure that Americans have access to “more and better broadband.” But due to a separate decision the FCC made last week to change its very definition of “broadband,” many fewer people even have it to begin with.

Report slams wasteful government IT spending

The U.S. government wastes 50 percent or more of the $70 billion to $80 billion that it spends on IT and IT security each year, according to a report released on Thursday by the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers (IAITAM). The report, entitled “Understanding the Federal Government’s ‘IT Insecurity’ Crisis,” warns that waste places federal agencies at greater risk of data breaches, lost and stolen hardware, and other cybersecurity dangers.

US Navy unveils firefighting robot

A firefighting prototype robot was unveiled at the Naval Future Force Science & Technology EXPO in Washington D.C. on Wednesday. The two-legged humanoid robot was developed by researchers at Virginia Tech and is helping ONR evaluate the potential uses of unmanned systems on naval vessels. In addition to damage control, scientists are also exploring the possibility of robot-conducted inspections.

DARPA plans to launch satellites from jets

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been making strides in being able to deliver small satellites into orbit faster and cheaper. On Feb. 5, DARPA gave updates on the Airborne Launch Assist Space Access (ALASA) program at the 18th Annual Federal Aviation Administration’s Commercial Space Transportation Conference.

These are the 2 huge problems stopping scientists from doing their jobs

The poll points to a few possible reasons for the lack of enthusiasm, including the current economy and political climate. But the two main reasons driving the pessimism seem to be the lack of funding that's available for research and the perception that research has little influence on public policy. (charts)

Putting the science into crowdfunding

How do you boost the chances of crowdfunding success for science projects? As it turns out success may not be down solely to the vagaries of its viral nature or the "sexiness" of the project. According to researchers at the University of Santa Barbara, who studied crowdfunding of science projects, more workaday things like consistent communication and simple enthusiasm are more important factors.

The best jobs are in tech, and so is the job growth

In 2014, IT employment grew by 2.4 percent. Although that doesn’t sound like much, it represents more than 100,000 jobs. If the projections by CompTIA and others hold up, the economy will add even more this year.

US Navy’s new ‘Star Wars’-style railgun hits Mach 6

The Navy and Marine Corps’ new ‘Star Wars’-style weapon made its debut in the nation’s capital this week. The Electromagnetic Railgun, developed by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) with BAE Systems, has the potential to revolutionize naval warfare. The weapon was on display to the public for the first time at the Naval Future Force Science and Technology EXPO at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Wednesday and Thursday.

Intel Chief Warns US Tech Threatened by China Cybertheft

The U.S. defense intelligence chief warned Tuesday that America's technological edge over China is at risk because of cybertheft. Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, told a congressional hearing the U.S. retains technological superiority. But he said China had stolen "a lot" of intellectual property from U.S. defense contractors and that effort continues.

China’s robots will double by 2017 to overtake the US

The number of industrial robots in use in China will more than double over the next two years ­– from 182,000 today to 428,000 by 2017 – thus overtaking the robot populations of either North America or the EU’s five largest economies.

Is the future of space NUCLEAR? Nasa is developing new rockets to send astronauts to new corners of the solar system

Nasa scientists are developing new nuclear powered rockets that they hope could be used to travel the huge distances needed to take astronauts to Mars and explore the solar system. They believe the rockets, powered using nuclear fusion rather than traditional chemicals, could dramatically cut the time it takes to travel through the solar system.

Importance of Earth Science Recognized in President's Budget Proposal

The following statement is attributable to American Geophysical Union (AGU) executive director/CEO Christine McEntee: "AGU is very pleased to see the President's budget proposal recognize the transformative power of science to drive American prosperity and to protect our communities. After years of underfunding for non-defense discretionary science and the destructive impacts of sequestration, the President's proposed budget would repair the damage done to our capacity for innovation.

FCC Chairman Wheeler Backs Regulating Internet As Public Utility

After more than a decade of debate and a record-setting proceeding that attracted nearly 4 million public comments, the time to settle the Net Neutrality question has arrived. This week, I will circulate to the members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed new rules to preserve the internet as an open platform for innovation and free expression. This proposal is rooted in long-standing regulatory principles, marketplace experience, and public input received over the last several months. - FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler


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