Science & Technology

Technology That Could End Humanity-and How to Stop It

May 16, 2019

In his 1798 An Essay on the Principle of Population, Thomas Malthus predicted that the world's population growth would outpace food production, leading to global famine and mass starvation. That hasn't happened yet. But a report from the World Resources Institute last year predicts that food producers will need to supply 56 percent more calories by 2050 to meet the demands of a growing population.

Trump signs order aimed at protecting US networks from Chinese tech

May 16, 2019

President Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order declaring a "national emergency" that would empower his administration to block foreign tech companies from doing business in the U.S. if they are deemed a national security threat. The order does not name any countries or companies, but the administration has launched a global campaign to keep the Chinese telecom Huawei from helping U.S. allies develop next-generation wireless infrastructures.

Which tech giant do you trust? How Google, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft are doing privacy

May 15, 2019

There’s a common theme running through the spring season of developer conferences and tech events: trust and privacy. With the tech industry facing a backlash from consumers and regulators, tech giants including Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft are looking to assure everyone that they’re listening. But each company is approaching the issue in a very different way, and with a very different track record on the topic.

National Science Foundation announces new Diamond Achievement Award

May 15, 2019

The National Science Foundation has announced a new award -- the NSF Diamond Achievement Award -- which will be presented for the first time to the international team of researchers who recently captured the first-ever image of a black hole.

US and China superpower race to lead the future of technology comes down to $6 billion

May 15, 2019

China’s venture investments rose to $105 billion in 2018, nearly matching the U.S. at $111 billion, according to Preqin data. Several factors have contributed to the trend. The Chinese government has grand ambitions to make China a tech superpower, such as its Made in China 2025 policy initiative for building national companies into high-tech champions, and its Internet Plus plan to power up the mobile Internet and the Internet of Things.

Senate bill restricts U.S. tech exports to China

May 15, 2019

Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley pushed legislation Tuesday that would make it more difficult for American tech companies to export their technology to China. Hawley’s bill, which has few details. would require President Donald Trump to restrict any technology to China that would contribute to the communist country’s military. The Republican’s legislature would also place heavy restrictions on technology that influences artificial intelligence, semiconductors, and robots. It also would restrict any kind of tech that China might use to violate human rights.

NASA reveals funding needed for Moon program, says it will be named Artemis

May 14, 2019

NASA revealed Monday that it needs an additional $1.6 billion in funding for fiscal year 2020 to stay on track for a human return to the Moon by 2024. The space agency's budget amendment comes in addition to the $21 billion the Trump administration asked Congress for in March. In a teleconference with reporters on Monday evening, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the budget amendment was a "down payment" on what will be needed in future years to fund the program.

Limit How Long Google Keeps Your Data With This Overdue Setting

May 14, 2019

The feature allows users to set a time limit for Google to retain certain types of data, either three months or 18 months, after which the information is automatically deleted. For now, the auto-delete feature is only available for “Web & App Activity,” which tracks things like your searches and other browsing data. The company will offer options across more services in the future, including highly anticipated controls for location data (there are other ways to turn that tracking off in the meantime).

Astronomers Assemble the Most Detailed Picture of the Universe Ever

May 13, 2019

Hubble astronomers have assembled the largest, most complete image of the universe ever recorded, by stitching together data gathered by multiple telescopes over years of observations. This is expected to be the largest, highest-resolution available image of distant galaxies until next-generation telescopes like the James Webb are online and available.

'Deep fake' videos that can make anyone say anything worry U.S. intelligence agencies

May 13, 2019

A video of a seemingly real news anchor, reading a patently false script saying things like the "subways always run on time" and "New York City pizza is definitely not as good as Chicago" gives a whole new meaning to the term fake news. But that fake news anchor is a real example of a fascinating new technology with frightening potential uses.

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