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Oct 13, 2020

DOD Announces $600 Million for 5G Experimentation and Testing at Five Installations

Posted by in categories: economics, engineering, internet, military, virtual reality

Today, the Department of Defense announced $600 million in awards for 5G experimentation and testing at five U.S. military test sites, representing the largest full-scale 5G tests for dual-use applications in the world. Each installation will partner military Services, industry leaders, and academic experts to advance the Department’s 5G capabilities. Projects will include piloting 5G-enabled augmented/virtual reality for mission planning and training, testing 5G-enabled Smart Warehouses, and evaluating 5G technologies to enhance distributed command and control.

“The Department of Defense is at the forefront of cutting edge 5G testing and experimentation, which will strengthen our Nation’s warfighting capabilities as well as U.S. economic competitiveness in this critical field. Through these test sites, the Department is leveraging its unique authorities to pursue bold innovation at a scale and scope unmatched anywhere else in the world. Importantly, today’s announcement demonstrates the Department’s commitment to exploring the vast potential applications and dual-use opportunities that can be built upon next-generation networks,” said Michael Kratsios, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.

The test sites include: Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Georgia; Naval Base San Diego, California; and Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Oct 13, 2020

SpaceX, Hughes and Viasat qualify to bid for $20.4 billion in FCC rural broadband subsidies

Posted by in categories: internet, space

WASHINGTON — SpaceX, Hughes Network Systems and Viasat are eligible to compete for a share of the $20.4 billion in broadband subsidies the FCC plans to dole out under the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) starting later this month.

The Federal Communications Commission on Oct. 13 released a list of “qualified bidders” for the RDOF funds, which will be awarded via reverse auction to telecom providers bidding to bring subsidized voice and broadband internet services to rural communities and other underserved parts of the United States.

FCC’s list of qualified bidders includes 386 telecom providers, including SpaceX, Hughes and Viasat.

Oct 13, 2020

Three Space Travelers Countdown to Early Wednesday Launch

Posted by in category: space

(From left) NASA astronaut Kate Rubins with Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov will launch to the space station for a six-month research mission. A trio of space travelers, including NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, is s…

A trio of space travelers, including NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, is scheduled to launch aboard the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 1:45 a.m. EDT (10:45 a.m. Kazakhstan time) Wednesday, Oct. 14.

Beginning at 12:45 a.m., NASA Television and the agency’s website will provide live coverage of the crew’s launch. Teams at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan are making final preparations for the liftoff of Rubins and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov.

Continue reading “Three Space Travelers Countdown to Early Wednesday Launch” »

Oct 13, 2020

Mercedes-Benz unveils rugged EQC 4×4 electric off-road SUV

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a rugged new EQC 4×4 electric off-road SUV to show that electric vehicles can also be adventure vehicles.

That’s actually very much Rivian’s mission with the R1T electric pickup truck and R1S SUV, which it describes as “adventure vehicles.”

As for Mercedes-Benz, instead of making a new vehicle, they decided to modify their existing EQC electric SUV.

Oct 13, 2020

A New Model of the Brain’s Real-Life Neural Networks

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Summary: A new computational model predicts how information deep inside the brain could flow from one network to another, and how neural network clusters can self optimize over time.

Source: USC

Researchers at the Cyber-Physical Systems Group at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, in conjunction with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have developed a new model of how information deep in the brain could flow from one network to another and how these neuronal network clusters self-optimize over time.

Oct 13, 2020

Physicists Just Stored and Transported Light Itself

Posted by in category: particle physics

A team of German physicists managed to pack up light — and unpack it 1.2 millimeters away, without altering it in the process.

It’s a simple concept, but extremely difficult to actually pull off. To do it, the team from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) had to cool down rubidium-87 atoms to almost absolute zero.

“We stored the light by putting it in a suitcase so to speak, only that in our case the suitcase was made of a cloud of cold atoms,” Patrick Windpassinger, professor at JGU, research lead, said in a statement. “We moved this suitcase over a short distance and then took the light out again.”

Oct 13, 2020

Study: More Than 500 Vertebrates Poised To Go Extinct

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, existential risks

We should save their DNA and resurrect them or keep in a bubble environment.

Close To Home

The researchers behind the study warned that each time an animal goes extinct, it also threatens humanity’s continued survival.

Continue reading “Study: More Than 500 Vertebrates Poised To Go Extinct” »

Oct 13, 2020

Wearable IT devices: Dyeing process gives textiles electronic properties

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, wearables

“Our goal was to integrate interactive functionalities directly into the fibers of textiles instead of just attaching electronic components to them,” says Jürgen Steimle, computer science professor at Saarland University. In his research group on human-computer interaction at Saarland Informatics Campus, he and his colleagues are investigating how computers and their operation can be integrated as seamlessly as possible into the physical world. This includes the use of electro-interactive materials.

Previous approaches to the production of these textiles are complicated and influence the haptics of the material. The new method makes it possible to convert textiles and garments into e-textiles, without affecting their original properties—they remain thin, stretchable and supple. This creates new options for quick and versatile experimentation with new forms of e-textiles and their integration into IT devices.

“Especially for devices worn on the body, it is important that they restrict movement as little as possible and at the same time can process high-resolution input signals”, explains Paul Strohmeier, one of the initiators of the project and a scientist in Steimle’s research group. To achieve this, the Saarbrücken researchers are using the in-situ polymerization process. Here, the are “dyed” into the fabric: a textile is subjected to a chemical reaction in a water bath, known as polymerization, which makes it electrically conductive and sensitive to pressure and stretching, giving it so-called piezoresistive properties. By “dyeing” only certain areas of a or polymerizing individual threads, the computer scientists can produce customized e-textiles.

Oct 13, 2020

New deep learning models: Fewer neurons, more intelligence

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Artificial intelligence has arrived in our everyday lives—from search engines to self-driving cars. This has to do with the enormous computing power that has become available in recent years. But new results from AI research now show that simpler, smaller neural networks can be used to solve certain tasks even better, more efficiently, and more reliably than ever before.

An international research team from TU Wien (Vienna), IST Austria and MIT (USA) has developed a new system based on the brains of tiny animals, such as threadworms. This novel AI-system can control a vehicle with just a few artificial neurons. The team says that system has decisive advantages over previous models: It copes much better with noisy input, and, because of its simplicity, its mode of operation can be explained in detail. It does not have to be regarded as a complex “black box”, but it can be understood by humans. This new deep learning model has now been published in the journal Nature Machine Intelligence.

Oct 13, 2020

A framework to increase the safety of robots operating in crowded environments

Posted by in categories: information science, robotics/AI, transportation

Humans are innately able to adapt their behavior and actions according to the movements of other humans in their surroundings. For instance, human drivers may suddenly stop, slow down, steer or start their car based on the actions of other drivers, pedestrians or cyclists, as they have a sense of which maneuvers are risky in specific scenarios.

However, developing robots and autonomous vehicles that can similarly predict movements and assess the risk of performing different actions in a given scenario has so far proved highly challenging. This has resulted in a number of accidents, including the tragic death of a pedestrian who was struck by a self-driving Uber vehicle in March 2018.

Researchers at Stanford University and Toyota Research Institute (TRI) have recently developed a framework that could prevent these accidents in the future, increasing the safety of autonomous vehicles and other robotic systems operating in crowded environments. This framework, presented in a paper pre-published on arXiv, combines two tools, a and a technique to achieve risk-sensitive control.