Science & Technology

Robots are slowly replacing us

July 09, 2019

The robots are here. A new study shows that firms that adopt robots see large increases in productivity and displace less innovative firms. But there is a problem. Robots are different from other types of capital investments. They perform tasks without direct or constant human interaction. Thus, robots can replace humans in the production process. Some studies suggest that as much as 47% of total U.S. employment could be automated. The question is this good or bad for workers.

Scientists: Sorry, 'Oumuamua Still Isn't an Alien Spaceship

July 08, 2019

Astronomers have been pondering the nature of our first interstellar visitor ever since its discovery. ‘Oumuamua is bizarre -- not only is it from beyond the stars, but it’s also long and cigar-shaped. That led some to wonder if it wasn’t really an alien spacecraft, but past studies of ‘Oumuamua have suggested that it’s just a space rock.

China Is Installing Android Malware on Tourists' Phones

July 08, 2019

Chinese authorities are reportedly installing surveillance apps on tourists’ phones at certain border crossings that collect data and scan for a range of files, according to a sweeping new investigation. According to the Times’s report, border officials in certain crossings into Xinjiang will install an app called Fengcai onto travelers’ Android devices. For travelers with Apple devices, their phones were reportedly plugged into a USB cable connected to a handheld device.

The U.S. now has 4 live 5G networks, but good luck actually using them

July 08, 2019

As the first half of 2019 came to a close, every major cellular carrier in the United States was officially offering 5G service to customers: Just days after blasting rivals AT&T and Verizon for lying about their limited 5G offerings, T-Mobile commenced initial service on June 28, becoming the last U.S. national carrier to launch 5G.

Tech war with the US is spurring Chinese firms to develop their own chips

July 08, 2019

“Huge amounts of capital and talent are going to be thrown at building self-reliance and establishing a kind of parallel ecosystem here without dependence on U.S. chips, operating systems,” said Ben Harburg, managing partner of MSA Capital, a Beijing-based venture capital firm. “The rationale is that this moment created demand. Previously, it didn’t have demand for those Chinese chips...

NASA's Orion Capsule Passes Launch Abort Test With Flying Colors

July 08, 2019

NASA has successfully tested the launch abort system for the Orion crew capsule designed to take astronauts to the Moon. An unmanned test version of the Orion crew capsule was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida atop a modified Peacekeeper missile early Tuesday. After reaching an altitude of six miles...

Scientists are searching for a mirror universe. It could be sitting right in front of you.

July 07, 2019

The mirror world, assuming it exists, would have its own laws of mirror-physics and its own mirror-history. You wouldn’t find a mirror version of yourself there (and no evil Spock with a goatee -- sorry "Star Trek" fans). But current theory allows that you might find mirror atoms and mirror rocks, maybe even mirror planets and stars. Collectively, they could form an entire shadow world, just as real as our own but almost completely cut off from us.

The Russian submarine that caught fire and killed 14 may have been designed to cut undersea internet cables

July 04, 2019

The Russian navy submarine that Russian media outlets have identified as the one that caught fire during a mission on Monday, killing 14 sailors on board, may have been designed to cut undersea internet cables. The vessel caught fire near the naval base of Severomorsk on Monday, and the sailors died of smoke inhalation, Russia's defense ministry said in a statement.

Rick Scott expresses doubt Trump will reach trade deal with China

July 04, 2019

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said Tuesday that he does not believe President Trump will be able to strike a trade deal with China, particularly if Chinese telecom firm Huawei is involved. After a months-long stalemate, Trump announced this week that talks with Beijing had resumed with a goal of striking tariffs and resuming more open trade, but Scott, a former Florida governor, called Huawei a non-starter.

China wants to create a tech landscape where the US can no longer hurt it

July 04, 2019

Global markets have rallied on the re-ignition of trade talks between the U.S. and China after President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping’s meeting at the weekend, but analysts say China is already adapting to the changing business landscape and that trade (and particularly, technological) relations will never be the same again.

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