Science & Technology
Amazon could be forced to spin off AWS
Amazon, which has faced increasing antitrust pressure this year in the US and European Union, may have to spin off its lucrative cloud business, Oppenheimer warned investors on Monday, November 18.
Senate Democrats unveil priorities for federal privacy bill
A group of top Democratic senators from four key committees on Monday unveiled their priorities for the nation's first comprehensive privacy bill, reinvigorating a debate that had stalled for months on Capitol Hill. Some of the proposals set out by the Democrats could be non-starters for Republicans, including the clause that would allow users to sue companies over privacy violations and the fact that it does not override state privacy legislation. The Democratic proposal would allow states to enact their own tough privacy laws, which Republicans and the tech industry have largely opposed.
NASA Astronaut Prepares for Space Station Mission Marked by Changes
In October 2020 (just before the anniversary on Nov. 2), NASA's two-time space veteran Chris Cassidy will leave the orbiting complex in a Russian Soyuz with rookie Russian cosmonauts Nikolai Tikhonov and Andrei Babkin. The trio, who make up the Expedition 62/63 crew, is expected to fly up in April and remain about five months, although dates are always subject to complex scheduling. Their journey will be one of the last in the current pattern of space station operations.
Banks must behave 'more like technology companies' to survive, finance execs say
To add to the pressure on the banks, tech giants like Apple, Facebook and now Google have been making inroads into finance. Apple earlier this year launched a credit card, piggybacking off an account provided by Goldman Sachs, while Facebook announced its libra cryptocurrency initiative and Google is set to debut a checking account next year.
A Scientist's Tiny Black Hole Brings the Cosmos Into the Lab
Inside his lab in Israel, Jeff Steinhauer crafts microscopic black holes. These objects are but humble specks, lacking the spaghettifying suction strength of an actual dead star. But Steinhauer, a physicist at the research university Technion, assures me that he’s constructed them mathematically to scale. Zoom in far enough, and you’ll see a miniature event horizon restaging the drama of a true black hole.
Scientists take action to prevent sexual harassment and bias
Throughout his career, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Fellow Jason Sheltzer noticed gender bias in hiring. He has published research pointing out that women were underrepresented in research labs where the PI had won a Nobel Prize or been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and for independent fellow positions. "We're at this junction point where there is overwhelming evidence describing the barriers that women can face in STEM careers, and there is much less data about what the best way to address it is," Sheltzer said.
For science's sake, the government must approve FY20 spending bills
Once again, Congress is poised to approve a second continuing resolution (CR) to keep the U.S. government running when the current resolution expires Nov. 21. As some congressional leaders noted, it is unlikely Congress will reach agreement on any of the 12 fiscal year (FY) 2020 spending bills by the expiration date, raising serious concerns that funding will remain flat for government agencies into, or even through, 2020.
White House Updates National Strategic Computing Initiative
To keep up with and drive the rapid advancements emerging across the national computing landscape, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released Thursday an update to the National Strategic Computing Initiative. “These priorities will help ensure next generation computing will enable technological advancements and scientific discoveries for the benefit of all Americans,” Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios said in a statement.
Senate Commerce Leaders Introduce the NASA Authorization Act of 2019
This bill expands and improves upon the bipartisan legislation Sen. Cruz introduced in December 2018 and provides the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) the clear direction needed to advance our nation's space initiatives and investments and assert the United States' global leadership in the final frontier.
US Should Partially Disengage With China to Counter Threats
The United States should partially disengage with the Chinese regime to combat its predatory economic practices, according to a recent report by Washington-based think tank The National Bureau of Asian Research. The U.S. administration should pursue defensive measures to stem the flow of critical technologies to China, and work on reaching a ceasefire in the nearly 16-month-long trade war, says the report, which was released Nov. 4.