Science & Technology

The 5 most exciting defense stories to look out for in 2019

January 15, 2019

The U.S. military has been modernizing the armed forces in preparation for a potentially new era of warfare around the corner. 2018 was certainly a year jam-packed with defense headlines as the defense industry became re-energized across all sectors and innovation to meet the requirements of U.S. forces was reinvigorated. So as we kick off this new year, which defense stories should Americans be keeping an eye on?

America desperately needs fiber internet, and the tech giants won't save us

January 15, 2019

On the latest episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka, Recode’s Peter Kafka spoke with Harvard Law School professor Susan Crawford about her new book, Fiber: The Coming Tech Revolution--And Why America Might Miss It. On the podcast, Crawford explained why nationwide access to high-speed fiber internet -- already standard in parts of Asia and Europe -- is important for everything from the future of work to the successful deployment of 5G wireless networks. She also talked about why Google’s ambitious attempt to compete with the telecom giants, Google Fiber, is all but dead.

U.S. Military Trusted More Than Google, Facebook to Develop AI

January 15, 2019

Facebook Inc. is among the technology companies leading the race to develop artificial intelligence. But Americans don’t trust it to do so responsibly, a survey from a U.K. think tank has found. More than two-thirds of those surveyed said they had either "no confidence" or "not too much confidence" in Facebook developing A.I., a report from the Center for the Governance of AI, part of the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford, said.

Here's how the record-breaking government shutdown is disrupting science

January 15, 2019

As the partial federal government shutdown enters its fourth week -- on January 12 becoming the longest in U.S. history -- scientists are increasingly feeling the impact. Thousands of federal workers who handle food safety and public health are furloughed. Countless projects researching everything from climate change to pest control to hurricane prediction are on hold.

A philosophy professor argues kids should use more technology, not less

January 14, 2019

If you’re a parent, you’ve probably despaired more than once at the sight of your kid indelibly glued to their smartphone. Philosophy professor Jordan Shapiro has a radical proposal: Don’t despair, rejoice. Better yet, join in. Kids aren’t losing themselves in their devices, but potentially finding themselves. What’s more, they’re doing exactly what generations of kids have long done: Immersing themselves in the toys and objects of the moment that reflect the society they inhabit, and which will help prepare them for the future.

Amazon's Ring Security Camera Let Employees Spy on Customers

January 14, 2019

The Internet of Things central promise is that by allowing internet and compute-enable products into your home, you can enjoy luxuries and conveniences like voice assistants, different colored light bulbs that change on command, and a really smart toaster. There are always going to be tensions between certain IoT devices and privacy.

Trump promises H-1B visa holders 'changes are coming soon.' What that means for the tech industry

January 13, 2019

President Donald Trump told H-1B visa holders to “rest assured” because “changes are soon coming which will bring both simplicity and certainty” to their status in the United States in a tweet early Friday. But it’s unclear whether the revisions he has in store will put the minds of the 85,000 immigrants brought to the U.S. on skilled work visas each year at ease.

Why Keeping The Nation's Secrets Could Depend On Whether The US Is First To Master Quantum Computing

January 13, 2019

“Whoever achieves quantum first is going to be able to break all the encryption that’s currently being used,” Hurd says. Right now, data that is encrypted, whether it’s a password, the plans for a new fighter plane, or the names and locations of intelligence officers, can be stolen, but can’t be read unless the thief can break the encryption code. When fully implemented, quantum technology will be able crack those codes, no matter how strong they are.

At CES, tech's biggest trade show, privacy was the buzzword

January 13, 2019

When Mita Yun gives a demo of the cute, cat-like pet robot Kiki, which includes microphones and a camera in its nose, she broaches the issue of privacy before even being asked. Yun -- the co-founder and CEO of Zoetic, the company based in Santa Clara, California, that is behind Kiki -- is quick to point out that the “AI companion” can recognize your face but doesn’t relay that information over the internet.

Tech Companies Shouldn't Make Us Trust Them, At All

January 13, 2019

Yesterday, at the same time countless companies packed the show floor of CES 2019 with all manner of new connected smart gadgets from security cameras to high-tech baby monitors, another high-profile leak of consumer trust came out. The Intercept reported that Amazon's Ring Doorbell exposed the ostensibly private video captured by its electronic eye to strangers.

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