Science & Technology
Bill Gates lists 10 breakthrough technologies that address 'important challenges' of our time
In his quest to solve, or have a hand in solving, some of the world’s more pressing problems, Bill Gates has no doubt been presented with a range of evolving technologies which promise to do one trick or another. In a new list prepared for the MIT Technology Review, the Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist chooses 10 breakthrough technologies for 2019.
China bans 23 million from traveling as part of citizen report card system
China banned people from buying plane or train tickets 23 million times last year because their social credit scores were too low, according to the Associated Press, which obtained a copy of a government report. The government rolled out the travel ban on people with low social credit scores last May. According to a report from China’s National Public Credit Information Center from last week, people have been blocked 17.5 million times from purchasing airplane tickets, and 5.5 million times from buying high-speed train tickets.
SpaceX's Crew Dragon spaceship makes maiden flight with robo-rider named Ripley
A sleek new American-built capsule with just a test dummy aboard docked smoothly with the International Space Station on Sunday in a big step toward putting the U.S. back in the business of launching astronauts. The white, bullet-shaped Dragon capsule, developed by Elon Musk's SpaceX company under contract to NASA, closed in on the orbiting station nearly 260 miles above the Pacific Ocean and, flying autonomously, linked up on its own, without the help of the robotic arm normally used to guide spacecraft into position.
NASA Says Earth Is Greener Today Than 20 Years Ago Thanks To China, India
NASA has some good news, the world is a greener place today than it was 20 years ago. What prompted the change? Well, it appears China and India can take the majority of the credit. In contrast to the perception of China and India's willingness to overexploit land, water and resources for economic gain, the countries are responsible for the largest greening of the planet in the past two decades. The two most populous countries have implemented ambitious tree planting programs and scaled up their implementation and technology around agriculture.
The US is finally moving towards an AI strategy
The American AI Initiative is a welcome step towards boosting U.S. competitiveness in AI, but it does not go far enough. Without more substantial efforts from the Trump administration and Congress, the United States will struggle to compete with other countries that have developed aggressive national AI strategies, and the economy will be worse off for it.
Lawmakers slam tech industry reps at privacy hearing
Lawmakers slammed tech industry representatives at a hearing Wednesday as Congress begins work on drafting a federal privacy law. The Senate Commerce Committee held its first data privacy hearing this year, with lawmakers questioning the industry's support for sweeping federal privacy standards.
China builds the world's longest high-speed rail as a rail stalls in the U.S.
The U.S. and China announced ambitious plans to fund high-speed rail projects backed by government stimulus packages during the financial crisis in 2008. Since then, the length of high-speed rail lines in China has expanded to 18,000 miles, accounting for more than two-thirds of the world's total. That’s five times more than what Japan has built since the 1960s.
How US experts helped China build a DNA surveillance state
China has been leaning on American know-how to build a sprawling surveillance program in Xinjiang province, according to the New York Times. Scientists working with Chinese police have been using equipment from Thermo Fisher, a supplier of biotechnology tools in Massachusetts. They also shared genetic survey data with Kenneth Kidd, a geneticist at Yale University. The genetic data was being used to be able to determine, from a blood sample, if someone had Uighur ancestry. Chinese scientists even filed a patent on the idea.
The US government just made clear it’s going after more types of Chinese tech than we thought
The brewing technology battle between the U.S. and China isn’t just about 5G telecom equipment Chinese companies want to bring to the U.S. It’s already starting to bleed into other tech categories, as shown in a new letter posted Monday from 11 senators and top officials from the departments of Energy and Homeland Security that called for a ban of Huawei-made solar technology.
FTC launches task force to monitor competition among tech companies
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Tuesday announced the launch of a task force aimed at monitoring competition among the country's tech companies. The task force, which will consist of current officials with the FTC's Bureau of Competition including 17 staff attorneys, will work to "identify and investigate potential anticompetitive conduct," the bureau's director, Bruce Hoffman, told reporters.