Science & Technology

The Delicate Ethics of Using Facial Recognition in Schools

October 20, 2019

WIRED identified eight public school systems, from rural areas to giant urban districts, that have moved to install facial recognition systems in the past year. There likely are many more. The technology watched over thousands of students returning to school in recent weeks, continually checking faces against watch lists compiled by school officials and law enforcement.

NASA Astronauts Make History with 1st All-Woman Spacewalk

October 20, 2019

The historic extravehicular activity (EVA) began at 7:38 EDT (1138 GMT), which was ahead of schedule as the spacewalk was slated to begin at 7:50 EDT (1150 GMT). The spacewalk, which officially began once both astronauts switched to battery power in their spacesuits, was guided by veteran NASA astronaut and capsule communicator (CAPCOM) Stephanie Wilson on the ground and fellow astronauts Luca Parmitano and Andrew Morgan located on the International Space Station.

What's it like to live on the International Space Station?

October 20, 2019

The International Space Station is an orbiting space laboratory, assembled through a decades-long collaboration of countries. The 360-ton space station is larger than a five-bedroom house -- just much longer and narrower. It has enough room for six sleeping quarters, a gym, a 360-degree viewing window, and areas to conduct a wide array of science experiments. "We've had continuous human presence on the space station for 19 years now," said NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Schierholz. "It is an unprecedented international collaboration among nations."

Bill Recognizing 'Hidden Figures' for Contributions to U.S. during the Space Race Headed to President Trump's Desk to become Law

October 20, 2019

House Science, Space, and Technology Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK), along with Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE.), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) applauded the congressional passage of a bipartisan bill they introduced, along with hundreds of their colleagues, to award Congressional Gold Medals to Katherine Johnson and Dr. Christine Darden and to posthumously award Congressional Gold Medals to Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson.

Weapons Makers Unveil A Herd of Robotanks - As the Army Worries about Battlefield Bandwidth

October 17, 2019

The show floor of the country’s biggest land-warfare convention was crowded with robot tanks this week, roughly two years after the U.S. Army’s declaration that its core 5-year priorities include a new combat vehicle. Among them, and with the greatest fanfare, Textron unveiled its Ripsaw, a 10-ton, 20-foot electrically-powered treaded minitank that can carry a small aerial drone on its back and can pop a smaller ground robot out of a front compartment.

Artificial Intelligence Has a Powerful Brain, but It Still Needs a Heart

October 17, 2019

So far, efforts to cultivate algorithmic fairness lag far behind the enthusiasm to adopt the technology. Industry, with its drive for competitive advantage and focus on profits, has shown little inclination to shoulder this responsibility. The institution that needs to play a critical role in leading the way to an AI-powered world that is both ethical and fair is higher education.

Why don't more women win Nobel Prizes in science?

October 17, 2019

The rarity of female Nobel laureates raises questions about women's exclusion from education and careers in science. Female researchers have come a long way over the past century. But there's overwhelming evidence that women remain underrepresented in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

FCC approves T-Mobile-Sprint merger

October 17, 2019

Two sources familiar confirmed to The Hill that the merger has been approved, with the three Republicans on the commission voting in favor and the two Democrats dissenting. But the merger is still facing a significant obstacle as a group of 17 state attorneys general forge ahead in their lawsuit to block the deal. The multistate lawsuit, announced over the summer, claims that the combined telecom giant would ramp up prices for consumers and result in significant job losses.

Robotics and the Future of Production and Work

October 16, 2019

The use of robotics will increase productivity and has the potential to bring more manufacturing production work back to developed countries. As productivity increases, labor is likely to receive a significant share of the benefits.

NASA engineer's 'helical engine' may violate the laws of physics

October 16, 2019

For every action, there is a reaction: that is the principle on which all space rockets operate, blasting propellant in one direction to travel in the other. But one NASA engineer believes he could take us to the stars without any propellant at all.

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