Science & Technology

Facebook also hired human contractors to listen to audio from its Messenger app

August 16, 2019

Facebook has been hiring third-party contractors to review and transcribe audio clips of its users, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Facebook claims it stopped using human workers to review audio clips “more than a week ago,” noting that the contractors were previously hired to check whether anonymized conversations were being correctly transcribed on the Messenger app.

A group of tardigrades crashed into the moon in April. The indestructible critters could still be alive.

August 15, 2019

The moon just got a little more crowded. A horde of microscopic critters called tardigrades were passengers aboard the Israeli spacecraft Beresheet, which crashed into the lunar surface nearly four months ago. But because tardigrates can survive in extreme environments, it's likely these tiny astronauts are still alive.

Why the U.S. Abandoned Nuclear-Powered Missiles More Than 50 Years Ago

August 15, 2019

Last week’s mysterious nuclear accident in Russia became even more mysterious as the government admitted that a small nuclear reactor had exploded, killing seven people. Evidence is piling up that the incident is somehow related to Russia’s development of a nuclear-powered cruise missile, and President Donald Trump took to Twitter to state that the U.S. has a similar system.

China's biggest chipmaker is still years behind its global rivals

August 14, 2019

China’s largest contract chip manufacturer is years behind its rivals when it comes to the latest technology, analysts said. That assessment comes as the world’s second-largest economy faces a tough task in closing the gap with the U.S., South Korea and Taiwan and increasing its self-sufficiency in semiconductors as its trade war with Washington continues.

Power and Tech Giants Fight Over Airwaves Space in the U.S.

August 14, 2019

As wires increasingly go the way of rotary phones, nearly every industry is trying to push into underused spectrum space. The number of Wi-Fi hotspots globally is forecast to grow sixfold by 2021 as fifth-generation, or 5G, cellular networks take shape to underpin everything from autonomous vehicles to industrial robots, according to the Federal Communications Commission. That means opening more space on the radio spectrum.

US delays China tariffs for some items including cellphones, removing other products from list

August 14, 2019

The United States Trade Representative office said Tuesday that new tariffs on certain consumer items would be delayed until Dec. 15, while other products were being removed from the new China tariff list altogether. It cited health and security factors. The duties had been set to go into effect on Sept. 1, so the announcement eased concerns about the holiday shopping season.

See SpaceX's Crew Dragon Parachutes in Action in This Epic Video Compilation

August 13, 2019

If a parade of space parachutes popping open is your thing, SpaceX has you covered. The company -- which is developing a Crew Dragon spacecraft to bring astronauts to the International Space Station --- recently released a YouTube video showing a series of successful parachute tests for its spacecraft.

Three Years of Misery Inside Google, the Happiest Company in Tech

August 13, 2019

Over these past three years of backlash against Silicon Valley’s platform giants, Facebook has absorbed most of the heaviest blows. The tide of public scrutiny has taken a lot longer to catch up with Google. And in a few ways, that’s strange. It is Google that orders the world’s information, commanding an incredible 90 percent share of the search market. It is Google that runs one of the most potent engines of radicalization in the world, YouTube. And in terms of sheer scale, Google puts Facebook in the shade...

Who Will Be the First Woman on the Moon?

August 12, 2019

Of the 12 people who have walked on the moon, zero have been women. NASA's Artemis program aims to change that by landing the first woman on the moon. "I have a daughter. She is 11 years old, and I want her to see herself in the same position that our current, very diverse astronaut corps currently sees itself, having the opportunity to go to the moon," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in an agency town hall May 14.

Giant Magellan Telescope Project Finishes 2nd Primary Mirror

August 12, 2019

The GMT is taking shape on a mountaintop in the Chilean Andes. The telescope will feature seven primary mirrors, which together will create a light-collecting surface 80 feet (24.5 m) wide. The powerful scope will allow astronomers to investigate some of the cosmos' deepest mysteries -- the nature of dark matter and dark energy, for example, and whether Earth life is alone in the universe.

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