Science & Technology

Experts Say That Federal Privacy Law is Necessary, But Can’t Agree on Specifics

July 24, 2019

Lawmakers have to create a policy that is “sufficiently agile to accommodate new uses of data that none of us can even conceive of right now,” said Ernest & Young Americas Privacy Leader Angela Saverice-Rohan. Privacy standards are dependent on shifting cultural norms and constantly evolving technology, Saverice-Rohan said, and so Congress should focus on allowing context-dependent consumer choice.

Pence delivers a promise, and a warning, to NASA and its contractors

July 24, 2019

NASA hopes to launch the first unpiloted test flight of an SLS rocket and an Orion capsule in 2021, years later than originally planned. While Pence said the Trump administration remains committed to the huge rocket’s development, he warned the government will turn to other providers if NASA’s “traditional” contractors cannot deliver.

Apple Seeks Mac Pro Parts Tariff Exclusion After Move to China

July 24, 2019

Apple Inc. has asked the Trump administration to exclude components that make up the forthcoming Mac Pro high-end desktop computer from import tariffs, weeks after planning to re-locate production of the line to China from Texas.

DOJ Launches Antitrust Probe into Tech Giants

July 24, 2019

The Justice Department is launching a sweeping antitrust review into whether the nation's biggest online platforms are reducing competition or stifling innovation, a development that threatens to heighten the risks for Silicon Valley in the ballooning Washington scrutiny of the power wielded by companies like Google and Facebook.

First moon-bound Orion crew capsule declared complete, major tests remain

July 23, 2019

The connection of the Orion spacecraft’s two main elements is a major milestone as engineers ready the vehicle for an unpiloted test flight to lunar orbit and back to Earth, a precursor to a follow-on mission that will carry astronauts back to the vicinity of the moon for the first time since 1972.

Can 5G bridge the digital divide? Congress, experts divided on impact of next-generation wireless

July 23, 2019

Closing the broadband gap has proved tricky because private internet providers often don’t have financial incentives to build broadband infrastructure over long distances in sparsely populated areas. Some technologists believe the super-fast next generation of wireless technology, 5G, could provide a solution. But there are many skeptics who worry that the same business model issues will leave rural America out, possibly widening the digital divide.

Huawei is secretly helping build North Korea’s wireless network, report says

July 23, 2019

The allegations in the Washington Post report stem from a number of internal documents the Post said it sourced from a handful of former Huawei employees. These documents consist of work orders, contracts, and detailed spreadsheets that track the company’s worldwide telecommunications operations. According to the report, Huawei worked with Panda International Information Technology Co. Ltd., a Chinese state-owned company, on a number of projects over the course of at least eight years. It was this arrangement with Panda that reportedly made Huawei’s involvement harder to track.

Why Is the Apollo Reflector Experiment Still Operating, 50 Years Later?

July 22, 2019

An epic lunar laser experiment is still going strong, five decades after the Apollo astronauts set it up on the surface. The moonwalking crew of Apollo 11, which landed on the moon 50 years ago this month, put special retroreflectors on the lunar surface, as did the later crews of Apollo 14 and 15, in 1971.

Who's Listening When You Talk to Your Google Assistant?

July 21, 2019

Google’s privacy policy and privacy pages for its home devices do not describe how the company uses workers to review audio. The company’s privacy pages for Google Home say that the company “collects data that's meant to make our services faster, smarter, more relevant, and more useful to you.” Under the heading “Is Google Home recording all of my conversations?” those pages say that no information leaves the device until its wake word is detected--obscuring the fact that the system can mistakenly detect it.

NASA's daunting to-do list for sending people back to the Moon

July 21, 2019

A half-century after landing the first humans on the Moon, NASA is looking to put people back on the lunar surface, but this time the agency has an even more ambitious deadline to meet. The goal is to send humans back to the Moon by 2024, a mere five years from now. NASA has a whole lot more hardware to develop this time -- which leaves many wondering if such an extremely ambitious lunar return can be done.

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