Science & Technology

This is Truly a Trade War

May 20, 2019

The trade negotiations between the Trump administration and the People's Republic of China (PRC) are not rooted in commercial disputes. Though media discussions are dominated by issues about opening markets for U.S. exports limited by Chinese policy, the real issue is national security and the need to keep the balance of power tilted in America's favor. Business is the means, not the end.

San Francisco's facial recognition ban is just the beginning of a national battle over the technology

May 20, 2019

Police say facial recognition is “essential” and “imperative” -- a groundbreaking tool that allows them to track down criminals who would otherwise escape justice. Opponents say the technology is “nefarious” and “dangerous” -- an omen of repressive government surveillance. The two sides are engaged in an escalating battle over public opinion that will reach a turning point this week, when San Francisco is expected to become the first city in the country to adopt a ban on government use of facial recognition.

Apollo-era moonquakes suggest lunar colonies must be shake-proof

May 19, 2019

The first humans to settle on the moon might need quake-proof housing. Moonquakes recorded during the Apollo missions have been linked to specific cracks on the lunar surface, suggesting that the moon is still tectonically active today.

NASA taps Blue Origin and 10 other companies to work on moon lander studies and prototypes

May 19, 2019

It’s almost as if Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos knew what was coming: His Blue Origin space venture is among 11 companies selected by NASA to conduct studies and produce prototypes of spacecraft that could carry astronauts down to the moon’s south polar region and back up by 2024.

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.

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