Science & Technology
Preparing now for safe, secure self-driving cars and other innovative technologies
Another consumer protection issue that continues to be on our radar is self-driving cars. We need to make sure these vehicles are safe for consumers and at the same time promote innovation in this space. That’s why we passed the SELF DRIVE Act -- a first-of-its-kind piece of legislation -- to do just that. It passed the Energy and Commerce Committee in a bipartisan 54-0 vote and then received unanimous approval in the House.
Russia Is Poised to Surprise the US in Battlefield Robotics
No one would call Russia’s government and budgetary bureaucracy particularly nimble, nor its defense industry particularly advanced. Certainly, it trails Western economies in such key areas as communication equipment, microelectronics, high-tech control systems, and other key technologies. But in certain aspects of the field of unmanned military systems, Russia may be inching ahead of its competition in designing and testing a wide variety of systems and conceptualizing their future use.
White House: No Decision Yet on Nationalized 5G Wireless Network
The White House on Monday denied that any decision has been made about building a nationalized fifth-generation 5G wireless network to combat the threat of Chinese eavesdropping. "Right now, we're in the very earliest stages of the conversation," White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during Monday's daily briefing. "There are absolutely no decisions made on what that would look like, what role anyone would play in it."
Achieving Trump's goal of the 5G network
The past few weeks have been eventful for wireless research, showing how new advances in mobile communication, one of the fundamental building blocks for so much technology today, have to be driven by both the grassroots and policymakers to be successful. Just before the new year, 3GPP in Lisbon -- the standards-setting body that drives cellular wireless -- successfully completed the first 5G specification.
Trump administration is thinking about nationalizing 5G mobile network
National security officials in the Trump administration are looking at options where the U.S. government could take over a part of the country's mobile network as a way of guarding against China, news outlet Axios reported.
Cloud seeding for snow: Does it work? Scientists report first quantifiable observations
For the first time, scientists have obtained direct, quantifiable observations of cloud seeding for increased snowfall -- from the growth of ice crystals, through the processes that occur in clouds, to the eventual snowfall.
Amazon's store of the future opens
Amazon’s first Amazon Go store opened today in Seattle, automating most of the purchase, checkout, and payment steps associated with a retail transaction and replacing cash registers, cashiers, credit cards, self-checkout kiosks, RFID chips -- and lines -- with hundreds of small cameras, computer vision, deep-learning algorithms, and sensor fusion.
Women More Likely Than Men to Lose U.S. Jobs by Automation: WEF Report
Those conclusions, from a study released Monday at the World Economic Forum, show about 57 percent of the 1.4 million U.S. jobs to be disrupted by technology between now and 2026 are held by women. With proper retraining, most of the workers would find new, higher-paying jobs. Without it, very few have opportunities, but women fare the worst, according to the study, conducted in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group. Making the transition will be expensive and difficult, the authors said.
SpaceX Test Fires Its Falcon Heavy Rocket for the First Time
The long-awaited Falcon Heavy rocket roared to life on Wednesday at 12:30 pm Eastern, as SpaceX fired up the 27 Merlin engines that power the triple-booster rocket at Kennedy Space Center. Perched atop what CEO Elon Musk claims will be the most powerful lift vehicle in the world is the billionaire’s Tesla Roadster, which will launch toward a Mars elliptical orbit on the Falcon Heavy’s upcoming maiden flight.
Is Silicon Valley losing its edge?
What was supposed to be an awe-inspiring trip to the Bay Area, turned into an experience of validation and self-affirmation for a group of Chinese tech entrepreneurs and start-up founders. Far from being struck by the advances in technology and society in Silicon Valley, the delegation was shocked at the prevalence of cash, that food deliveries shut down overnight and most people drive, not bike, reported the Wall Street Journal.