technology

June 25, 2019

The U.S.-China trade war is at heart a battle for tech supremacy and the huge commercial and national security advantages that come with it. Think artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous vehicles. China’s bold plan to dominate in these areas helped galvanize the Trump administration after U.S. businesses operating in China complained for years about forced technology transfers and intellectual property theft.

June 23, 2019

It’s one of the most contentious fronts in the U.S.-China trade war: so-called forced technology transfers. The term refers to a spectrum of practices through which foreign companies that want to operate in China are induced to part with their know-how. That may be simply through a requirement to form a joint venture with a local firm, or more insidious bureaucratic methods like overly intrusive inspections.

June 23, 2019

At least a half-dozen separate pieces of broadband legislation are working their way through Congress, and panelists assembled by the Schools, Health, and Libraries Broadband Coalition on Wednesday commented on the pros and cons of how these bills would deploy broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved areas of the country.

June 23, 2019

The US and China have been locked in a race for the world's most powerful supercomputer. China was in the lead with its Sunway TaihuLight, which has a 93 petaflop capacity. But the US surpassed that last year, when it released the Summit, which can run at 200 petaflops -- or 200 quadrillion calculations per second.

June 20, 2019

Tech industry executives for years have promised that drones -- aircraft vehicles that operate without a pilot on board -- are the future of delivery. The small, buzzy aircraft have increasingly emerged in the skies above U.S. cities, dropping products including food and medical supplies at or near peoples’ doorsteps.  But mainstream implementation of drone delivery services is likely still years off...

June 20, 2019

Members of the Senate Commerce security subcommittee examined the impact of banning Chinese-made drones, or components for drones, during a hearing on Tuesday. The senators compared the debate on drones to the recent decision by the Department of Commerce to blacklist Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei in May, a move that barred U.S. firms from working with the company.

June 20, 2019

If you’re a consumer, the 5G horizon seems to be getting closer by the day as vendors begin shipping 5G-capable handsets and telecom operators refine their buildout plans. But as the pace gradually quickens, one thing is clear: The transition to 5G won’t look anything like 3G and 4G migrations. To a certain extent, 5G will expand the speed-and-performance curve just as 3G and 4G did. And sure, we’ll have fancy new 5G phones in a couple of years, but we’re not where the real action is going to be. Because this isn’t going to be a consumer revolution at all.

June 19, 2019

The number of manmade objects in orbit is set to triple in five years, a reflection of humanity’s growing dependence on ever-cheaper satellites for communication and imagery. Yet more spacecraft means more space debris to threaten them.

June 18, 2019

Amazon’s Alexa is the target of a pair of lawsuits that allege the voice assistant violates laws in nine states by illegally storing recordings of children on devices such as the Echo or Echo Dot. It’s the latest development in an ongoing debate around Alexa and privacy.

June 13, 2019

The effective diameter of the Terahertz Space Telescope, Walker says, would be about 25 meters. To put this in perspective, the James Webb Space Telescope--which is slated to launch in 2021, and will be the most sensitive telescope ever sent to space--has an aperture of about 6.5 meters. The price difference is even more dramatic: Walker estimates the inflatable telescope would cost around $200 million to send to orbit, whereas the James Webb telescope is expected to cost about $10 billion by the time it’s launched.

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