Archive for the ‘government’ category: Page 159

Mar 14, 2018

DARPA Is Funding Time Crystal Research

Posted by in categories: government, military, particle physics, quantum physics

You probably scratched your head last year if you read about time crystals, likely 2017’s most esoteric, widely covered popular science story. Even if you understood how they worked, you might not have known what use they could have. Time crystals, systems of atoms that maintain a periodic ticking behavior in the presence of an added electromagnetic pulse, have now piqued the interest of one well-funded government agency: the Department of Defense.

The DoD’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, announced a new program to fund research on these systems. More generally, the new DRINQS program will study exactly what its acronym stands for: “Driven and Nonequilibrium Quantum Systems.” But why?

“The applications could be for atomic clocks, where you have an ensemble of atoms you’re vibrating to extract time information,” Ale Lukaszew, program manager in DARPA’s defense sciences offices, told Gizmodo. “There might be applications related to measuring things with exquisite sensitivity in time and magnetic field domains. Not a lot of these applications are open for discussion.” In other words, time crystal-based military technology is classified.

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Mar 13, 2018

“Digital currency likely to overtake fiat” — China’s central bank governor

Posted by in categories: cryptocurrencies, government

China has been one of the harshest countries with regard to cryptocurrency regulations and has given its citizens a very short leash. This hard-set attitude has made it difficult for people in the mainland to trade and hold cryptocurrency assets, while some have opted for offshore accounts, many still prefer using the little leeway their government allows.

The Chinese have clamped down on cryptocurrencies so much that they even forced a popular social media platform to shut down and warned its people that accounts related to cryptocurrencies would be watched closely.

Which is why the conversations that happened and the statements that were released at this year’s National People’s Congress comes as a long sought after reprieve to China’s people.

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Mar 12, 2018

Tax the terminator: Chinese adviser calls for levy to stop robots taking over the workplace

Posted by in categories: government, robotics/AI

Cai, a delegate to the National People’s Congress in Beijing, said the idea made sense.

As the country rides a wave of investment in automation, Cai is among the first Chinese academics to call for restrictions on robots.

NPC delegate Cai Fang says it won’t be long before machines can do most things better than humans.

Continue reading “Tax the terminator: Chinese adviser calls for levy to stop robots taking over the workplace” »

Mar 10, 2018

The FCC says a space startup launched four tiny satellites into orbit without permission

Posted by in categories: government, satellites

Satellite operators must get government approval to launch hardware into orbit. The FCC says that Swarm Technologies launched four small satellites in January without authorization.

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Mar 4, 2018

China is recruiting a new wave of astronauts from its civilians

Posted by in categories: engineering, government, military, space

China is intensifying its push into space, and broadening its astronaut recruiting.

The Chinese government, which plans to increase the number of manned missions in its military-backed space program to around two a year, will soon begin recruiting civilian astronauts, Yang Liwei, deputy director of the China Manned Space Engineering Office, told reporters on the sidelines of a ceremonial parliament session this weekend. That’s a departure from China’s practice of drawing its astronauts from among air force pilots.

Yang—who was China’s first man in space in 2003—said the trainees could include private-sector maintenance engineers, payload specialists, pilots, scientists, and people from universities and other research institutions, according to the Associated Press. More women are also being encouraged to apply. The loosening of restrictions comes amid NASA’s announcement that it has recruited America’s most competitive class of astronauts ever, as well as other initiatives like Canada’s Hunger Games -style search for new astronauts on the internet.

Continue reading “China is recruiting a new wave of astronauts from its civilians” »

Mar 4, 2018

More Americans now support a universal basic income

Posted by in categories: economics, government

Pilots of such programs are underway in Finland and Canada. In rural Kenya, a basic income is managed by nonprofit GiveDirectly. India — with a population of more than 1.3 billion residents — is considering establishing a universal basic income.

Half of Americans want the government to send them weekly checks, regardless of their income or work.

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Mar 3, 2018

This AI has officially been granted residence

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

Tokyo, Japan may have just become the first city to officially grant residence to an artificial intelligence (AI). The intelligence’s name is Shibuya Mirai and exists only as a chatbot on the popular Line messaging app. Mirai, which translates to ‘future’ from Japanese, joins Hanson Robotic’s “Sophia” as pioneering AI gaining statuses previously reserved for living, biological entities. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia granted Sophia citizenship last month.

The Shibuya Ward of Tokyo released a statement through Microsoft saying, “His hobbies are taking pictures and observing people. And he loves talking with people… Please talk to him about anything.” The goal of Mirai is said to be to familiarize some of the 224,000 citizens of the district with the local government and give them an avenue to share opinions with officials.

Mirai is programmed to be a seven-year-old boy and can have text conversations with users and even “make light-hearted alterations to selfies he is sent,” according to Agence France Presse.

Continue reading “This AI has officially been granted residence” »

Feb 28, 2018

Palantir has secretly been using New Orleans to test its predictive policing technology

Posted by in category: government

Good intentions + evolving tech + developing science + inadequate data = bad outcomes

Predictive policing technology has proven highly controversial wherever it is implemented, but in New Orleans, the program escaped public notice, partly because Palantir established it as a philanthropic relationship with the city through Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s signature NOLA For Life program. Thanks to its philanthropic status, as well as New Orleans’ “strong mayor” model of government, the agreement never passed through a public procurement process.

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Feb 27, 2018

Norway’s Stronghold Against Human Starvation Needs a $13 Million Upgrade

Posted by in categories: existential risks, government

The Norwegian government proposed $12.7 million in upgrades to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault as melting permafrost threatens this doomsday seed bank.

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Feb 26, 2018

Can High-Tech Drones Help Stop Mass Shootings?

Posted by in categories: drones, government, policy, surveillance

I’m excited to share a new article of mine via The Daily Dot on the future of so-called “gun control,” one that promises freedom and protects people from criminals and mass shooters. As usual, the answer is in technology to improve the world—and not in Congress changing or creating laws. This is a policy article of mine, and this is the technology you could expect to see in California if I was elected Governor:

High-tech drones and surveillance technology can offer a radically new type of gun control, helping detect possible the presence of guns and intervene in mass shootings.

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