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May 27, 2020

China to launch digital yuan next year to replace cash

Posted by in category: government

Limited trials are already underway in Shenzhen, Suzhou, Chengdu and the Xiongan New Area in the northern province of Hebei, said the central bank’s governor Yi Gang. He told reporters that China’s government plans to run pilot tests at Olympic venues, though there remains no official timetable for a release.

An unnamed member of the State Council with knowledge of the project told the Nikkei Asia Review that If the government is satisfied with the results of this year’s tests, the currency “will be issued next year.” Otherwise, “more tests will be conducted next year,” he said.

May 27, 2020

Inside the Pentagon’s race against deepfake videos

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

Advances in artificial intelligence could soon make creating convincing fake audio and video – known as “deepfakes” – relatively easy. Making a person appear to say or do something they did not has the potential to take the war of disinformation to a whole new level. Scroll down for more on deepfakes and what the US government is doing to combat them.

May 26, 2020

Vietnam best Covid-19 fighter in the world: Politico

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, government, health

The prestigious news outlet mapped the performance of 30 leading economies by plotting their public health and economic outcomes and grouping them based on whether they have instituted light, moderate or severe restrictions on commerce and social interactions.

The matrix included countries and territories’ economic outcomes, including the benchmarks of GDP, unemployment and fiscal stimulus packages and health outcomes based on testing, infection and death statistics provided by health ministries and government authorities and graphed by Worldometer and Johns Hopkins University.

As seen in the ranking chart, Vietnam stands at the furthest end with “better public health outcome,” with Taiwan coming close, followed by New Zealand, South Korea, Iceland, Argentina and Australia.

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May 26, 2020

PETER VOSS — Could AGI Cure Aging?! (#003)

Posted by in categories: business, cryonics, Elon Musk, finance, government, quantum physics, Ray Kurzweil, robotics/AI

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May 25, 2020

China has new US$1.4 trillion plan to seize the world’s tech crown from the US

Posted by in categories: economics, government

China is no stranger to far-reaching plans with massive price tags that appear to achieve little. There is no guarantee this programme will deliver the economic rejuvenation its proponents promise. Unlike previous efforts to resuscitate the economy with “dumb” bridges and highways, this newly laid digital infrastructure will help national champions develop cutting-edge technologies.


The tech investment push is part of a fiscal package waiting to be signed off by China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress, which convenes this week.

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May 24, 2020

Italians Can Now Install Rooftop Solar PV Systems For Free

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government, policy, solar power

The Italian government had one of the early invasive experiences of the covid-19 pandemic. Scientists in Italy responded to the global crisis with serious research into the concern. Perhaps results of these inquiries and related information have affected policy makers. Italian homeowners now have new opportunities to put clean energy on the top of their roofs.

May 23, 2020

Coronavirus: UAE develops COVID-19 treatment, ‘could be game-changer’

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government

A United Arab Emirates research institute has developed a coronavirus treatment using stem cells “which could be a game-changer in the global fight” against the outbreak, a government official announced on Friday.

Read the latest coronavirus updates in our dedicated section.

The Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Center has developed a treatment method that regenerates lung cells and prevents the immune system from overreacting, Hend Al Otaiba, Director of Strategic Communications with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a Twitter thread.

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May 22, 2020

SpaceX astronauts arrive for first home launch in a decade

Posted by in categories: government, space travel

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The two astronauts who will end a nine-year launch drought for NASA arrived at Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, exactly one week before their historic SpaceX flight.

It will be the first time a private company, rather than a national government, sends astronauts into orbit.

NASA test pilots Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken flew to Florida from their home base in Houston aboard one of the space agency’s jets.

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May 21, 2020

Samsung made a Galaxy S20 Tactical Edition for the military

Posted by in categories: encryption, government, military, mobile phones

Samsung has a hardened version of the Galaxy S20, but don’t reach for your credit card — it’s not what you were expecting, and you probably can’t get one. The company has introduced a Galaxy S20 Tactical Edition that, as the name suggests, is designed to meet the needs of the US military and federal government. It touts two layers of encryption strong enough to handle top secret data and connects to tactical radios and mission systems out of the box.

There are combat-related conveniences, too. One mode can turn the display on and off while you’re wearing night vision goggles, while a stealth mode turns off LTE and and mutes all RF broadcasts to eliminate even the slightest chance of eavesdropping. It’s also easy to unlock the phone in landscape mode so that you can quickly launch an app while the device is mounted to your chest.

This is otherwise a run-of-the-mill Galaxy S20 with a 6.2-inch, 1440p display, a Snapdragon 865 processor, 12GB of RAM, 128GB of expandable storage, a 4,000mAh battery and the usual arrays of front and rear cameras. Although Samsung shows the Tactical Edition in a rugged casing, there’s no mention of the phone itself being rugged.

May 20, 2020

Regulation Too Often Shackles the Hands of Innovators

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, government, health

After biomedical scientists demonstrated that they could make dangerous viruses like influenza even more dangerous, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) implemented a three-year moratorium on funding such research. But a couple of months ago, in December, the moratorium was lifted, and a tight set of rules were put in its place, such as a mandate for oversight panels.

The prospect of engineering a deadly pandemic virus in a laboratory suggests that only a fool would wish away government regulation entirely.

However, as a whole, regulation has done more harm than good in the arena of scientific innovation. The reason is that the sort of person who thinks like a bureaucratic regulator isn’t the sort of person who thinks like a scientist. The sad fact of the matter is that those most interested in the regulatory process tend to be motivated by politics and ideology rather than scientific inquiry and technological progress.

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