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Feb 14, 2018

India’s commitment to science begins to pay off

Posted by in categories: government, science

To achieve this, the government is hoping to find more scientists like Koul, who sees his role as an “opportunity to address bigger social as well as scientific challenges”.

This is a tall order, and there’s an elephant in the room. Government funding for Indian research and development has stagnated at around 0.85% of gross domestic product for more than a decade, compared with at least 3% invested by technologically advanced nations such as Denmark, Japan and Sweden.


A push to reverse its brain drain is providing the expertise to tackle its domestic problems.

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Feb 11, 2018

Elon Musk’s record-breaking ‘virtual power plant’ will see 50,000 homes given free solar panels and Tesla batteries

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, energy, government, sustainability, transportation

Elon Musk has agreed to build what is being hailed the “world’s largest virtual power plant”, by rolling out solar panels and Tesla batteries to 50,000 homes in South Australia. The scheme, which will be completed over the next four years, will see any excess energy stored in each battery fed back into the grid to provide power to the rest of the state whenever required. The South Australian government claims participating households will generate a total of 250MW of electricity – about half as much energy produced by a typical coal-fired power station. Read more — Elon Musk about to launch…

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Feb 10, 2018

U.S. transportation agency calls March 1 ‘summit’ on autonomous cars

Posted by in categories: government, law, policy, robotics/AI, transportation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Auto manufacturers, technology companies, road safety advocates and policy makers will attend a March 1 conference over potential government actions that could speed the rollout of autonomous cars, the U.S. Transportation Department said on Friday.

Last month, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said the Trump administration plans to unveil revised self-driving car guidelines this summer as the government sets out to rewrite regulations that pose legal barriers to robot vehicles.

Next month’s “summit” is to help “identify priority federal and non-federal activities that can accelerate the safe rollout” of autonomous vehicles, the department said. It will also be open to the public.

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Feb 7, 2018

Japan lays groundwork for boom in robot carers

Posted by in categories: government, robotics/AI, wearables

The next research priorities include wearable mobility aid devices and technology that guides people to the toilet at what it predicts is the right time.

According to Japan’s robot strategy, the government hopes that four in five care recipients accept having some support provided by robots by 2020.


Japanese government wants to increase acceptance of technology that could help fill the gap in the nursing workforce.

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Feb 6, 2018

The Largest Number Of Scientists In Modern U.S. History Are Running For Office In 2018

Posted by in categories: engineering, government, mathematics

At least 200 candidates with previous careers in science, technology, engineering and math announced bids for some of the nation’s roughly 7,000 state legislature seats as of Jan. 31, according to data that 314 Action, a political action committee, shared exclusively with HuffPost.


This comes at a time when there’s only one Ph.D. scientist in Congress.

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Feb 2, 2018

The Case for Free Money

Posted by in categories: economics, government, robotics/AI

A major conservative publication, The Weekly Standard, has published a positive Cover story about Basic Income, as a way to reign in entitlements and deal with automation. My California libertarian governor campaign gets a brief mention in it. Over 100,000 print copies out this week.


At first blush, universal basic income sounds like something dreamed up on a California commune or in a late-night college bull session. The idea: Just give people money. Ask nothing in return. Impose no requirement to work or to look for work. And don’t just give taxpayer money to people living in poverty, give it to everybody—from gazillionaire to gig-worker—no questions asked.

Yet universal basic income is an idea that is having its moment. Enthusiasm for a government-guaranteed income for all seems to be percolating across the country. Groups backed by Silicon Valley luminaries are forming to devise political strategies. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign flirted with the idea.

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Jan 30, 2018

Ford patents driverless police car that ambushes lawbreakers using artificial intelligence

Posted by in categories: government, robotics/AI, surveillance, transportation

Imagine a police car that issues tickets without even pulling you over.

What if the same car could use artificial intelligence to find good hiding spots to catch traffic violators and identify drivers by scanning license plates, tapping into surveillance cameras and wirelessly accessing government records?

What if a police officer tapping on your car window asking for your license and registration became a relic of transportation’s past?

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Jan 26, 2018

Uber drivers, freelancers and other independent contractors are getting a tax cut — By Andrew Khouri | Los Angeles Times

Posted by in categories: business, government, law, transportation

““Every Uber driver, as far as I can see, gets a benefit,” said Edward Kleinbard, a USC professor and former chief of staff to Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation.”

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Jan 26, 2018

Artificial Intelligence Nears the Summit of Hype in Davos

Posted by in categories: government, policy, robotics/AI

Artificial intelligence approached the summit of hype at this year’s World Economic Forum.

AI was on the lips of seemingly every corporate chief and policy maker attending this year’s conference in Davos, Switzerland. On Wednesday, the term “artificial intelligence” appeared in more than 20 headlines and stories Bloomberg ran about the gathering.

British Prime Minister Theresa May announced a new government-funded center to advise on ethical use of AI and French President Emmanuel Macron launched a 10 billion euro innovation fund aimed at new technologies like AI.

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Jan 19, 2018

China’s ambitions in space are growing

Posted by in categories: alien life, government, satellites

That failure, and another one last year involving another type of Long March rocket, slowed China’s space efforts. Officials had hoped to launch around 30 rockets of one type or another in 2017 but only managed 18 (there were 29 launches in America and another 20 of Russian ones—see chart). But they promise to bounce back in 2018, with 40-or-so lift-offs planned this year. These will probably include a third outing for the Long March 5—assuming its flaws can be fixed in time—and missions that will greatly expand the number of satellites serving BeiDou, China’s home-grown satellite navigation system.


NATTY yellow carts whizz tourists around Wenchang space port, a sprawling launch site on the tropical island of Hainan. The brisk tour passes beneath an enormous poster of Xi Jinping, China’s president, then disgorges passengers for photographs not far from a skeletal launch tower. Back at the visitor centre there is a small exhibition featuring space suits, a model moon-rover and the charred husk of a re-entry capsule that brought Chinese astronauts back from orbit. A gift shop at the exit sells plastic rockets, branded bottle openers and cuddly alien mascots.

The base in a township of Wenchang city is the newest of China’s four space-launch facilities. It is also by far the easiest to visit—thanks in part to the enthusiasm of officials in Hainan, a haven for tourists and rich retirees. Wenchang’s local government has adopted a logo for the city reminiscent of Starfleet badges in “Star Trek”. It is building a space-themed tourist village near the launch site, with attractions that include a field of vegetables grown from seeds that have been carried in spaceships.

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