Science & Technology

Federal agencies need to improve how they collect tech diversity data, report says

December 11, 2017

Given the lack of diversity and reports of hostility and discrimination, Congressperson Bobby Scott called on the Government Accountability Office to conduct a report that examines diversity, inclusion, hiring and discrimination in the tech industry. The GAO’s takeaway is that federal agencies need to improve their oversight of tech companies and diversity data collection methods.

The U.S. Military Has a Plan to Make Sure Russia and China Can't Win a Great Power War

December 10, 2017

America’s military-technological advantage, an aspect of its strategic power since the end of the Cold War, is eroding. In response, the Pentagon launched the third offset strategy in 2014--a department-wide effort to find new ways, both technological and institutional, to leap ahead of its competitors.

Text Messaging Is Now 25 Years Old

December 07, 2017

Be prepared to feel ancient -- the first text message is 25 years old. Engineer Neil Papworth sent the first SMS on December 3rd, 1992, when he wrote "merry Christmas" on a computer and sent it to the cellphone of Vodafone director Richard Jarvis. It was a modest start, but it ultimately changed technology and even social norms.

Why (most) future robots won't look like robots

December 07, 2017

Future robots won’t be limited to humanoid form (like Boston Robotics’ formidable backflipping Atlas). They’ll be invisibly embedded everywhere in common objects. Such as a shoe that can intelligently support your gait, change stiffness as you’re running or walking, and adapt to different surfaces -- or even help you do backflips.

How Technology-Based Start-Ups Support U.S. Economic Growth

December 07, 2017

The number of technology-based start-ups surged 47 percent in the last decade. These firms still account for a relatively small share of all businesses, but they have an outsized impact on economic growth, because they provide better-paying, longer-lasting jobs than other start-ups, and they contribute more to innovation, productivity, and competitiveness.

China's internet industry second only to US, Beijing-backed study says

December 06, 2017

China ranks second only to the United States in terms of internet development and innovation, but among the worst on cybersecurity and industry infrastructure, according to a survey of 38 countries by a Beijing-backed think tank.

The Millennium Project Releases New Report: State of the Future 19.0

December 06, 2017

Futurists and other experts organized by The Millennium Project provide a coherent framework to understand global change and prospects for the future. Possibly the most comprehensive synthesis of future challenges - from AI, synthetic biology, robotics, and nanotech to work, terrorism, climate change, population, gender, global ethics, and the next economics - in clear, precise language.

Verizon says it plans to launch 5G service in 3-5 US cities by end of 2018

December 06, 2017

As a first application of fifth-generation -- or 5G -- wireless, these services will use radio signals, rather than copper or fiber cables, to provide customers with unprecedented wireless speeds for Internet access. As 5G continues to evolve, customers will benefit from a wide array of services -- including broadband, mobile and IoT (Internet of things) -- and the necessary bandwidth and low latency for 3D and virtual reality applications.

NASA Just Fired Voyager 1's Thrusters For the First Time in 37 Years

December 04, 2017

Before Cassini or Galileo, there were the Voyager probes. Launched in August and September of 1977, both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 continue to communicate with Earth via the Deep Space Network. Voyager 1 is farther from Earth than Voyager 2, due to differences in their missions and trajectories, at an estimated 141 AU from Earth (1 AU is the distance between Earth and the sun). On Friday, NASA engineers were able to successfully fire Voyager 1’s backup thrusters -- for the first time in 37 years.

What the future of work will mean for jobs, skills, and wages

December 04, 2017

The technology-driven world in which we live is a world filled with promise but also challenges. Cars that drive themselves, machines that read X-rays, and algorithms that respond to customer-service inquiries are all manifestations of powerful new forms of automation. Yet even as these technologies increase productivity and improve our lives, their use will substitute for some work activities humans currently perform—a development that has sparked much public concern.

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