Science & technology

Innovation and security go hand in hand

The electronic payments industry is innovating at a rapid pace, developing new methods involving cloud-based near field communication (NFC) mobile technology, e-commerce and in-app payment systems, to name a few. All these innovations help make electronic payments easier and more accessible.

6 selected for year-long Mars simulation on Hawaii Island

Six scientists have been selected to spend 365 days in isolation in the next Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) mission. They will begin their year-long stay in the solar powered dome atop Mauna Loa on August 28. It will be the fourth and longest HI-SEAS mission yet in the University of Hawaii at Manoa research project that simulates long-duration space exploration.

The desperately needed pipeline that has nothing to do with oil

Wireless spectrum is the secret ingredient linking our smartphones to YouTube and our things to the Internet. It is the lifeblood of some of our economy’s fastest growing industries and will only grow in importance. With wireless data traffic continuing to increase dramatically, now is the time to start planning ways to accommodate for that traffic. We need to create a pipeline to channel spectrum from old sectors and technologies to new wireless broadband applications and the Internet of Things.

The US Navy is 3D-printing custom drones on its ships

The U.S. Navy has been testing the use of 3D printers on its ships to produce custom drones outfitted for specialized missions. The project, being carried out by researchers at the Naval Postgraduate School, is investigating whether modern communications and fabrication technology can be combined to give sailors a new tool for whatever mission they are deployed on.

The Millennium Project's newly-released "2015-16 State of the Future" Confirms that the World is Winning More than Losing, but Where it is Losing is Very Serious

For those concerned with identifying the global realities as a basis for developing futures focused policies and practice cultivating innovation capacities in nations, check out the 2015 State of the Future. The "2015-16 State of the Future" just released by The Millennium Project gives trends on 28 indicators of progress and regress; new insights into 15 Global Challenges; impacts of artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, nanotechnology and other advanced technologies on employment over the next 35 years; and how economic change is inevitable by 2050. Video: The Millennium Project Global Futures Intelligence System

NASA: Seats on Russian rockets will cost us $490 million

NASA told Congress on Wednesday that it will have to spend half a billion dollars to pay Russia to fly astronauts to the International Space Station. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden sent a letter to Congress saying the agency would need to pay $490 million to Russia for six seats on Soyuz rockets for U.S. astronauts to fly through 2017. That comes to nearly $82 million a seat, up from $71 million a seat.

China Joins the Laser Arms Race

Lasers and other directed energy weapons are all the rage in D.C., with a U.S. general recently declaring at a conference dedicated to the topic that "Directed energy brings the dawn of an entirely new era in defense." Indeed, the U.S. Navy has already tested lasers on warships deployed in the Persian Gulf and plans to arm other systems like aerial gunships with the weapons in the years ahead. Lasers are also a crucial part of long-term plans to defeat the threat of higher numbers of Chinese anti-ship missiles.

Innovations from the wild world of optics and photonics

The field of photonics began, roughly, with the invention of the laser in the late 1950s and found widespread applications in the 1990s with the explosive growth of the Internet. Photonics not only made high-speed long-distance data transmission via fiber optic cables feasible and affordable, it has also enabled advances in laser manufacturing, chemical sensing, medical diagnostics, display technologies and many other fields. But scientists are betting that not all of light's secret abilities have been discovered yet.

Facial Recognition Technology - Commercial Uses, Privacy Issues, and Applicable Federal Law

Google and Facebook are the only two major social media, retail or casino companies that the Government Accountability Office could identify as using facial recognition technology in a new report. The GAO report into the use of facial recognition comes amid rapid advances in the technology which have sparked privacy concerns. Both companies, which were not explicitly named in the report released July 29th, told GAO investigators that neither had any plans to share their facial recognition data with a third-party without user consent.

Senate Approves U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act

The U.S. Senate, today, unanimously approved S. 1297, the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, introduced by Commerce Committee Space, Science, and Competitiveness Subcommittee. The legislation, which the full Commerce Committee approved by voice vote with an amendment on May 20, 2015, extends the operational use of the International Space Station (ISS) until 2024, a regulatory moratorium on commercial space activity through FY 2020, and ensures stability for the continued development and growth of the U.S. commercial space sector and other space initiatives.

UK gov't: Earth will only have 12-hour warning to deal with massive Sun explosion

It sounds like a scene from a disaster movie – mass power failures, plane crashes, satellite disruptions, and train derailments. These are some of the threats modern society would face in the case of a massive solar storm, according to a new document released by the U.K. Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

Intel and Micron's new '3D XPoint' memory is 1000x faster, more durable than NAND

The culmination of more than a decade of research and development, 3D XPoint boasts what is described as a stackable, transistor-less "three-dimensional checkerboard" architecture in which memory cells can be addressed individually as they sit at the intersection of word and bit lines. This design allows the system to write and read data in smaller batches, which in turn facilitates faster and more efficient operation. And with low latency overhead, a single 3D XPoint module can serve both system and storage needs.

Here's How Much Technology Is Messing Up Our Most Important Measurements of the Economy

Productivity has slowed over the past decade, spurring heated debate about the limits of innovation and U.S. growth potential.  New research from Goldman Sachs economists suggests another culprit —  mismeasurement of how much technology adds to economic output — could be the major driver behind the weakness.

Science researchers turn to crowdfunding for projects

Researchers like Wyatt have instead been relying on crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Experiment to raise money. As a result, not only is a variety of science being funded that may not have received support otherwise, but the public is having a larger say in how researchers spend their time and energy.

Electric Planes on the Way With Greener, Cheaper Flights

While it may be a while before we board a cross-country electric flight, a short hop to the islands off Cape Cod may be more realistic. Engineers at NASA are working with Barnstable, Mass.,-based Cape Air to develop an Cessna 402 9-passenger electric airplane suitable for the short hops to the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, a flight of less than an hour from airports in New York or Massachusetts.


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