Science & Technology

House passes legislation banning government from buying Huawei equipment

December 17, 2019

The House on Monday passed legislation that would bar the government from buying telecommunications equipment from companies deemed to be national security threats, such as Chinese telecom giant Huawei. The bipartisan Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act, which passed the House unanimously, could get a vote in the Senate as soon as this week.

Top 10 stories of 2019: A black hole picture, measles outbreaks, climate protests and more

December 17, 2019

Science is good at measuring progress -- and where we fall short. Science News’ Top 10 stories of the year reflect that duality, from celebrating great achievements to highlighting problems we had hoped to avoid.

Can 5G replace everybody's home broadband?

December 17, 2019

When it comes to the possibility of home broadband competition, we want to believe. And in the case of 5G mobile broadband, wireless carriers want us to believe, too. But whether or not technological and commercial realities will reward that faith remains unclear. As with 5G smartphones, the basic challenge here sits at the intersection of the electromagnetic spectrum and telecom infrastructure economics.

Hubble Captures Incredible Photos of Comet Borisov as It Speeds Past Our Sun

December 16, 2019

Comet 2I/Borisov has become something of a cosmic celebrity in recent months, and researchers have been collecting snapshots with paparazzi passion. These new pics are the most revealing yet, taken as the interstellar visitor makes its closest approach to Earth.

Pentagon Test-Fires 2nd INF-Banned Missile

December 13, 2019

The United States has test-launched a second missile banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, which the Trump administration withdrew from earlier this year. Launched at 8:30 a.m. local time from a pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, the “prototype conventionally-configured ground-launched ballistic missile” flew more than 500 kilometers, and landed in the ocean, Lt. Col. Robert Carver, a Pentagon spokesman, said in an emailed statement.

Silicon Valley's China Paradox: What It Is, and How It Will Shape the Future of Tech

December 12, 2019

Silicon Valley has long been the world leader in tech innovation. It’s the cradle of startup culture, a hub for venture capital, and the home of dozens of global tech titans that are not only raking in billions of dollars, they’re also influencing politics, culture, and lifestyles around the world--whether they intended to or not. The Valley’s tech dominance has gone relatively unchallenged for decades, but China is now giving American tech a run for its money...

Jeff Bezos says Amazon wants to work more with the Pentagon

December 11, 2019

Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos said it would support the U.S. Department of Defense as technology companies vie for more defense contracts and the Pentagon seeks to modernize itself. "We are going to support the Department of Defense, this country is important," Bezos said at an annual defense forum at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California.

More and more biochemists and life scientists are winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry

December 11, 2019

A new analysis suggests that the chemistry prize is, in fact, increasingly awarded to research better described as biochemistry or life sciences. To refocus the prize on what they describe as chemistry and continue to recognize the top science in related disciplines, the researchers suggest changes to the awards, including adding new topical prizes, allowing posthumous awards, and diversifying the committee that chooses the laureates.

Apple, Facebook defend encryption during Senate grilling

December 11, 2019

Facebook and Apple defended their decision to block law enforcement from accessing communications among their billions of users during a contentious hearing on Tuesday, even as they face intensifying pressure from lawmakers and the U.S. attorney general. The hearing came against a backdrop of reignited tensions between Silicon Valley and the government over whether tech companies are enabling criminal activity as they work to build privacy into their products.

Peter Thiel to Silicon Valley: 'Unethical' not to help U.S. military compete with China

December 11, 2019

Billionaire Silicon Valley investor and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel called on American technology companies to step up innovation and resist pressures to reject military partnerships, arguing the U.S. is lagging behind China in the technology race.

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