Science & Technology

Silicon Valley lawmakers introduce tough privacy bill to regulate top social media platforms

November 06, 2019

A pair of California Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday introduced a tough privacy bill that would significantly curtail Silicon Valley's control over all Americans' personal information. The bill, introduced by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), would create a new federal agency to oversee how the country's largest and most powerful tech companies amass and use data about their millions of users across the U.S. It would also grant all users expansive rights over their data.

NASA Eyes a Possible Return to Pluto, with a Longer Stay

November 05, 2019

NASA’s New Horizons probe reached Pluto in 2015, but it zoomed past the dwarf planet in a matter of minutes because of its tremendous velocity. Now, the agency is considering the possibility of sending another mission to Pluto, but this one would stay in orbit to study the surface. A NASA-commissioned study from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) lays out what it would take to establish a long-term presence in the space around Pluto.

Why U.S. must win race to build first practical quantum computers

November 05, 2019

The United States cannot allow others to beat us in this crucial technological race. Quantum computing, with its promise of harnessing the strange properties of the subatomic world to accelerate computing, is one potential alternative to the current computing technology that has sustained progress for decades.  For decades, much of the economy in the United States and around the world has been driven by the invisible hand of Moore’s law. It simply states that the power of computer microprocessors will double every two years while they get smaller and costs are cut in half.

NASA Wants a New Space Telescope to Hunt Asteroids That May Threaten Earth

November 05, 2019

The pace of finding threatening near-Earth objects is slowing, so the planetary defense community is looking forward to a new space telescope to help in its quest to locate 90% of all city-threatening asteroids.

To watch the International Space Station go by, all you need is clear skies and the schedule

November 05, 2019

The International Space Station orbits the Earth 16 times a day, giving space gawkers several chances to wave to their neighbors in the thermosphere. Because of its relatively close proximity to Earth, it can be viewed with few resources and the right timing.

China rolls out 'one of the world's largest' 5G networks

November 04, 2019

The superfast service is now available to consumers in 50 Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, with prices for monthly plans ranging from 128 yuan ($18; £14) to 599 yuan, according to state media Xinhua. More than 130,000 5G base stations will be activated by the end of the year to support the 5G network, the government said in the statement. This would make it one of the world's largest 5G deployments, it said.

'China is stealing our stuff and they're not even hiding it': US tech protection task force

November 03, 2019

In China there is a saying, “Picking flowers in the US to make honey in China.” The US DoD tech protection task force has another saying, “China is stealing our stuff!” “China and the others are stealing our stuff, and it is causing the erosion of the lethality of the joint force,” said Air Force Maj. Gen. Thomas E. Murphy, who is the director of the Protecting Critical Technology Task Force of the Department of Defense (DoD).

14-Year-Old Named America's Top Young Scientist

November 03, 2019

3M and Discovery Education, have named 14-year-old Kara Fan from San Diego, California, the winner of the 2019 3M Young Scientist Challenge. Kara invented a first aid liquid bandage using nano-silver technology to reduce the risk of superbug infections caused by antibiotic overuse.

What one member of Trump's new science advisory council wants it to tackle

November 03, 2019

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) has yet to hold its first meeting, and the White House hasn’t even announced its full 16-person roster. But one newly appointed member, Director of IBM Research Dario Gil in Yorktown Heights, New York, already has a wish list of issues he’d like it to tackle.

Senate passes NASA appropriations bill

November 03, 2019

The Senate passed a spending bill Oct. 31 that provides $22.75 billion for NASA in fiscal year 2020, but final agreement on funding for agency programs may still be weeks, if not months, away. On an 84–9 vote, the Senate approved a so-called “minibus” appropriations bill that combined several separate measures, including the commerce, justice and science (CJS) bill that funds NASA, NOAA and the National Science Foundation, among other agencies.

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