Science & Technology

South African Professor makes history, performs world's first 3D inner-ear surgery

March 17, 2019

Professor Mashudu Tshifularo and his team at the University of Pretoria performed the world’s first middle-ear surgery using 3D technology! They effectively replaced the hammer, anvil, stirrup and the ossicles that make up the middle ear. The surgery, which can be performed on everyone including newborns, has benefitted two patients already. The 3D-printing technology is used to print these bones, and is also used in surgery to reconstruct the ossicles.

Facebook's Head of Product Leaves After Privacy Pivot

March 17, 2019

Facebook is losing its product chief Chris Cox, a top-ranking executive who spent more than a decade at the company, just a week after CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a major new direction for the social network. The departure, announced Thursday, follows Zuckerberg’s announcement that Facebook FB, -2.46% will shift its emphasis to private messaging over public sharing. The change reflects Facebook’s changing audience and continued problems with serving as a conduit for misinformation and vitriol.

America's top defense officials say Google's work in China benefits Chinese military

March 14, 2019

America’s top two defense officials slammed Google’s work with China on Thursday saying it has “indirectly benefited” Beijing’s military. “We watch with great concern when industry partners work in China knowing that there is that indirect benefit,” Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

An origami design helps this robot lift delicate and heavy cargo

March 14, 2019

A new robotic gripper is a strong “hand” with a soft touch. The bell-shaped gripper has a silicone rubber skeleton with an intricate origami design, wrapped in an airtight, latex rubber skin. When a vacuum sucks air out of the gripper, the skin constricts, forcing the origami skeleton to collapse into a narrow funnel. The bunched-up gripper’s rigged interior and rough latex skin help it keep ahold of objects.

NASA: Plan to send US back to the moon may be delayed without private rockets

March 14, 2019

A new rocket design under production by NASA won't be ready for a scheduled June 2020 launch, the agency's administrator told Congress on Wednesday. Jim Bridenstine told the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee that a mission to send an unmanned capsule around the moon next year, a three-week test flight for a manned mission planned for 2023, may need to be delayed unless the agency decides to go with privately owned rockets for the launch.

China's great firewall and the war to control the internet

March 13, 2019

In March 2015, China turned its Great Cannon on the West. A two-week attack knocked out websites hosting anti-censorship software. The cyberweapon is thought to be part of the same state apparatus as the Great Firewall, software that has cut China’s internet off from the rest of the world for years, blocking most Google services and many news sites and social networks.

Google takes heat over location tracking in privacy debate

March 13, 2019

A top Google executive faced tough questions from a Senate committee on Tuesday about the company's data collection practices as lawmakers vow to impose tougher privacy regulations on tech giants. The Senate Judiciary Committee grilled Will DeVries, senior policy counsel at Google, over the company’s user location tracking and data practices.

Lawmakers introduce bill to protect children's data privacy

March 13, 2019

A bipartisan pair of senators on Tuesday introduced legislation that would prevent tech companies from amassing personal information about teenagers without their consent. The bill, introduced by outspoken tech critics Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and freshman Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), would prevent internet companies from targeting ads toward children and require the companies to provide more insight into how they collect and use children's data.

Breaking up Amazon: Is it even possible? Imagining the tech giant under a U.S. antitrust crackdown

March 13, 2019

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s bold proposal to break up big tech companies --including Amazon, Google and Facebook -- has ignited a debate over the power that the industry wields, while raising a big question: Is it even possible to put the genie back in the bottle?

Scientists have chilled tiny electronics to a record low temperature

March 12, 2019

Tiny electronic chips have been cooled to a record low temperature, dipping below a thousandth of a kelvin for the first time ever, scientists reported March 6 at a meeting of the American Physical Society. To reach the frosty temperature, the scientists incorporated tiny bits of metal on the chip, which act like magnetic refrigerators.

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