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Archive for the ‘business’ category

Aug 27, 2016

SpaceX’s biggest rival is developing “space trucks” to ferry cargo in an orbital economy

Posted by in categories: business, economics, Elon Musk, military, space travel

The big kahuna of American rocket companies is the United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin that until this year held a monopoly on the lucrative business of launching rockets for the US Air Force.

But that monopoly is no more. The company faces a new era of competition as Elon Musk’s maturing SpaceX aims to fly more space missions in one year than ULA does, and as Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin breaks ground on a new factory for orbital rockets.

ULA, for its part, isn’t sitting still. “I came here to transform the company, position it in this new competitive marketplace with all these different players,” says Tony Bruno, who took the CEO job at ULA in August 2014 after a three-decade career in Lockheed’s missile-defense business. In his first full year in charge, ULA returned more than $400 million in operating profits to its two owners, but the company must prepare for when its final no-bid launch contract expires in 2019.

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Aug 26, 2016

China Sets New Tone in Drafting Cybersecurity Rules

Posted by in categories: business, cybercrime/malcode, encryption, government, information science

I have been seeing this for the recent weeks; I find it interesting and another step in China’s own move to be a global leader of tech. Could be either good or bad in the longer term.


China is taking a more inclusive tack in instituting cybersecurity standards for foreign technology companies, allowing them to join a key government committee in an effort to ease foreign concerns over the controls.

The committee under the government’s powerful cyberspace administration is in charge of defining cybersecurity standards. For the first time, the body earlier this year allowed select foreign companies— Microsoft Corp. MSFT −0.39 %, Intel Corp. INTC 0.43 %, Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO 0.14 % and International Business Machines Corp.—to take an active part in drafting rules, rather than participating simply as observers, said people familiar with the discussions.

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Aug 25, 2016

How Do You Know Your Lab-Grown Burger Is Safe To Eat? — By Jamie Condliffe | MIT Technology Review

Posted by in categories: business, futurism, government, innovation

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“Startups are making realistic lab-grown foods, but government food regulators aren’t sure how to police them.”

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Aug 24, 2016

A breakthrough in the use of glass for power storage could unleash a torrent of innovation in the transportation and energy sectors

Posted by in categories: business, energy, information science, transportation

I never get tired of reading about the glass energy solutions.


Harnessing Big Data Power Promises Greater Rewards for Environment & Businesses

‘Ideal’ energy storage material for electric vehicles developed.

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Aug 24, 2016

The iBrain is Here And it’s Already Inside Your Phone — By Steven Level | Backchannel

Posted by in categories: business, machine learning, robotics/AI

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“An exclusive inside look at how artificial intelligence and machine learning work at Apple”

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Aug 23, 2016

Long-Term, Intensive Robot-Assisted Therapy Helps Paraplegic Patients Walk Again

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, internet, neuroscience, robotics/AI

NORWELL, Mass.—()— Last week, Nature Publishing Group sent the scientific areas of the Internet into a frenzy by publishing a groundbreaking study that proves the positive effects of long-term training with Brain Machine Interfaces (BMI) on patients who have suffered a spinal cord injury (SCI).

The study titled “Long-Term Training with a Brain-Machine Interface-Based Gait Protocol Induces Partial Neurological Recovery in Paraplegic Patients” was conducted by an international group of scientists, led by the Duke University neurobiologist Miguel Nicolelis and demonstrates that it’s never too late to start intensive therapy.

Aug 22, 2016

Iraq Is Preparing an Armed Robot to Fight ISIS

Posted by in categories: business, robotics/AI

Alrobot would not be the first robot to hit the sands of Baghdad, but it might become the first to actually fire a weapon.

Back in 2007, the U.S. Army deployed three armed ground robots called the Special Weapons Observation Reconnaissance Detection System, or SWORDS, from weapons maker Foster-Miller (now owned by Qinetiq). SWORDS basically consisted of a Foster-Miller TALON robot armed with a machine gun. But the SWORDS were pulled off the battlefield before they were able to take a single shot.

Kevin Fahey, the Army’s program executive officer for ground forces, explained why the following year at a RoboBusiness Conference in Pittsburgh: “The gun started moving when it was not intended to move.”

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Aug 22, 2016

Uber Debuts Its First Fleet of Driverless Cars in Pittsburgh

Posted by in categories: business, mobile phones, robotics/AI, sustainability, transportation

Starting later this month, Uber will allow customers in downtown Pittsburgh to summon self-driving cars from their phones, crossing an important milestone that no automotive or technology company has yet achieved. Google, widely regarded as the leader in the field, has been testing its fleet for several years, and Tesla Motors offers Autopilot, essentially a souped-up cruise control that drives the car on the highway. Earlier this week, Ford announced plans for an autonomous ride-sharing service. But none of these companies has yet brought a self-driving car-sharing service to market.

Uber’s Pittsburgh fleet, which will be supervised by humans in the driver’s seat for the time being, consists of specially modified Volvo XC90 sport-utility vehicles outfitted with dozens of sensors that use cameras, lasers, radar, and GPS receivers. Volvo Cars has so far delivered a handful of vehicles out of a total of 100 due by the end of the year. The two companies signed a pact earlier this year to spend $300 million to develop a fully autonomous car that will be ready for the road by 2021.

The Volvo deal isn’t exclusive; Uber plans to partner with other automakers as it races to recruit more engineers. In July the company reached an agreement to buy Otto, a 91-employee driverless truck startup that was founded earlier this year and includes engineers from a number of high-profile tech companies attempting to bring driverless cars to market, including Google, Apple, and Tesla. Uber declined to disclose the terms of the arrangement, but a person familiar with the deal says that if targets are met, it would be worth 1 percent of Uber’s most recent valuation. That would imply a price of about $680 million. Otto’s current employees will also collectively receive 20 percent of any profits Uber earns from building an autonomous trucking business.

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Aug 19, 2016

Technology Vs. Human — Who Is Going To Win? An Interview With Gerd Leonhard

Posted by in categories: business, futurism

I agree with Gerd on many points.


Futurist Gerd Leonhard’s latest book “Technology Vs. Humanity” paints a potentially grim future for every person on the planet. What should businesses and individuals be doing to think about the forthcoming “tech-manity” sea change?

Aug 19, 2016

How to Succeed in the Asteroid Business Without Really Mining

Posted by in categories: business, finance, space

Asteroid miners need a short-term financial plan that will keep them in business until they can get rich extracting resources from space-rocks.

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