SpaceX has successfully launched a Falcon 9 from SLC-4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base today, its first launch since its successful Falcon Heavy test earlier this month. The launch took off early Wednesday morning, after being rescheduled a couple of times from an initial target of this past weekend.
The launch was primarily designed to bring the PAZ satellite to orbit (which was deployed as planned into a low Earth, sun-synchronous polar orbit), a satellite for a Spanish customer that’s designed to provide geocommunications and radar imaging for both government and private commercial customers.Read more
Scientists from Google and its health-tech subsidiary Verily have discovered a new way to assess a person’s risk of heart disease using machine learning.
By analyzing scans of the back of a patient’s eye, the company’s software is able to accurately deduce data, including an individual’s age, blood pressure, and whether or not they smoke. This can then be used to predict their risk of suffering a major cardiac event — such as a heart attack — with roughly the same accuracy as current leading methods. The algorithm potentially makes it quicker and easier for doctors to analyze a patient’s cardiovascular risk, as it doesn’t require a blood test.Read more
The odds are about one in four that the crypto fanatic in your office is involved in illegal activities. After conducting a study of historical Bitcoin transaction data an Australian research group concluded:
We find approximately one-quarter of Bitcoin users and one-half of Bitcoin transactions are associated with illegal activity. Around $72 billion of illegal activity per year involves Bitcoin, which is close to the scale of the US and European markets for illegal drugs. And that $72 billion? Here’s a bone for you conspiracy theory types: Business Insider reports Bitcoin has lost $72 billion in value since the beginning of 2018. Coincidence? Probably.Read more
A group of Silicon Valley technologists who were early employees at Facebook and Google, alarmed over the ill effects of social networks and smartphones, are banding together to challenge the companies they helped build.
The cohort is creating a union of concerned experts called the Center for Humane Technology. Along with the nonprofit media watchdog group Common Sense Media, it also plans an anti-tech addiction lobbying effort and an ad campaign at 55,000 public schools in the United States. The campaign, titled The Truth About Tech, will be funded with $7 million from Common Sense and capital raised by the Center for Humane Technology.Read more
Secretary of Defense James Mattis is actively considering banning US military and civilian personnel from bringing their personal cell phones into the Pentagon, the world's largest office building, according to three US defense officials familiar with an ongoing review of the issue.
The officials told that while the issue is under review and a final decision has not been made, the recent revelations that a fitness tracking app that maps people's exercise habits could pose security risks for US troops has only underscored the need for the review. The officials added that the review was ordered after Mattis expressed his intent to ban personal cell phones in the Pentagon.Read more
Donald Trump’s national security team is looking at options to counter the threat of China spying on US phone calls that include the government building a super-fast 5G wireless network. The official said the option was being debated at a low level in the administration and was six to eight months away from being considered by the president himself.
The 5G network concept is aimed at addressing what officials see as China’s threat to US cyber security and economic security. The Trump administration has taken a harder line on policies initiated by predecessor Barack Obama on issues ranging from Beijing’s role in restraining North Korea to Chinese efforts to acquire US strategic industries.Read more
Usenix Enigma It has been nearly seven years since Google introduced two-factor authentication for Gmail accounts, but virtually no one is using it.
In a presentation at Usenix's Enigma 2018 security conference in California, Google software engineer Grzegorz Milka today revealed that, right now, less than 10 per cent of active Google accounts use two-step authentication to lock down their services. He also said only about 12 per cent of Americans have a password manager to protect their accounts, according to a 2016 Pew study.Read more
The first “this could change everything” AI story of the year comes to us in the form of (yet another) AI that’s supposed to read minds. This time however, there’s no parlor trick. We’re one step closer to being able to broadcast our thoughts to a screen, thanks to artificial intelligence.
Japanese scientists have created AI capable of reading a person’s brainwaves and displaying an image based on what they’re looking at. If a person is staring at a picture of the letter “A” the AI will successfully create an image that resembles a fuzzy version of that. It’s actually reading the person’s mind – sort of.Read more
A French prosecutor has launched a preliminary investigation of U.S. tech giant Apple over alleged deception and planned obsolescence of its products following a complaint by a consumer organization, a judicial source said on Monday.
The investigation, opened on Friday, will be led by French consumer fraud watchdog DGCCRF, part of the Economy Ministry, the source said. Apple acknowledged last month that it takes some measures to reduce power demands - which can have the effect of slowing the processor - in some older iPhone models when a phone’s battery is having trouble supplying the peak current that the processor demands.Read more
Facebook acknowledged on Friday that too much social media can be bad for you, a remarkable admission as the 2-billion member online service battles mounting criticism about its impact on society.
In a blog post published on Friday, Facebook addressed a "hard question": "Is spending time on social media bad for us?" In it, the social networking firm cites academic research indicating that in certain instances using Facebook can have a negative effect on people's moods, and that heavier users of the site can have worse mental health.Read more