technology

August 22, 2019

Two NASA astronauts stepped outside the International Space Station Wednesday (Aug. 21) to install a new docking port for incoming commercial crew spacecraft during the fifth spacewalk from the station this year. Nick Hague and Andrew Morgan began their 6 hour and 32 minute spacewalk at 8:27 a.m. EDT (12:27 GMT), exiting from the U.S.-built Quest airlock after switching their spacesuits over to battery power.

August 22, 2019

Just weeks after the last of 173 A-10 Thunderbolt IIs received new wings, the Air Force on Wednesday awarded Boeing a $240 million contract to start installing new wings on 27 more aircraft -- the first tranche of a project expected to re-wing a total of 112 aircraft for about $1 billion, according to a Pentagon contract announcement. The contract awarded on Wednesday runs through 2030.

August 21, 2019

...even if there are significant breakthroughs on the trade front -- and that’s a very big “if” -- it will do little to change the anti-China mood in Washington. Partisan rancor and the president’s Twitter musings may get the headlines, but there is broad agreement in the nation’s capital that the Sino-U.S. relationship has fundamentally changed.

August 21, 2019

Silicon Valley is belatedly waking up to the fact that China systematically extracts the most advanced technology from the west, using both legal and nefarious means. So far, the US and European response has been entirely defensive. The US government tightened up laws last year to make it tougher for China to invest in our most advanced technologies. Germany and the UK are also increasingly wary of Chinese investment.

August 21, 2019

Humanity's next giant leap could be enabled by next-gen nuclear tech, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said. During the sixth meeting of the National Space Council (NSC) today (Aug. 20), the NASA chief lauded the potential of nuclear thermal propulsion, which would harness the heat thrown off by fission reactions to accelerate propellants such as hydrogen to tremendous speeds.

August 20, 2019

Starman and his deep-space ride have completed their first lap around the sun. The spacesuit-clad mannequin, who sits behind the wheel of SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk's red Tesla Roadster, launched on Feb. 6, 2018, on the inaugural flight of the huge Falcon Heavy rocket. The duo wrapped up their first solar orbit over the weekend, according to the tracking site whereisroadster.com.

August 19, 2019

President Trump directed the Commerce Department in May to place Huawei on its “Entity List,” which is seen as a death sentence for included groups as U.S. companies are banned from doing business with them. A “temporary general license” allowing Huawei to continue doing business in the U.S. had already been granted for one 90-day period.

August 19, 2019

Human doctors once again fell short of artificial intelligence in a test to accurately diagnose breast cancer, adding yet more evidence that AI-aided diagnostics may soon be commonplace. Researchers at the University of Washington and UCLA created a system that was able to distinguish between a pair of conditions that human doctors often struggle to identify correctly.

August 16, 2019

Facebook has been hiring third-party contractors to review and transcribe audio clips of its users, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Facebook claims it stopped using human workers to review audio clips “more than a week ago,” noting that the contractors were previously hired to check whether anonymized conversations were being correctly transcribed on the Messenger app.

August 15, 2019

Last week’s mysterious nuclear accident in Russia became even more mysterious as the government admitted that a small nuclear reactor had exploded, killing seven people. Evidence is piling up that the incident is somehow related to Russia’s development of a nuclear-powered cruise missile, and President Donald Trump took to Twitter to state that the U.S. has a similar system.

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