Congressional Report Spotlights AI, Emerging Technologies as Future of National Security

Artificial intelligence takes center stage in a new Congressional report on the future of defense that urges a foundational shift in how the U.S. approaches national security. 

Reps. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Jim Banks, R-Ind., who led the House Armed Services Committee’s bipartisan Future of Defense Task Force, discussed the final report’s recommendations at a Brookings Institution webinar Wednesday. 

The report takes a broad, 30-year view of the future of defense, emphasizing a whole-of-government approach and calling for greater collaboration between Silicon Valley or other innovative industry sectors and government. The task force makes the case for developing emerging technologies both for the direct benefits to national security of improving Pentagon operations and the indirect benefits global technology leadership could provide. 

“We’re calling for a real revolution in how we approach our national security,” Moulton said, arguing that without such a revolution the U.S. will lose its competitive advantage to

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A major study in India offers insights into on how the spread of the virus differs by age and gender.

An ambitious new study of nearly 85,000 coronavirus cases in India and nearly 600,000 of their contacts, published Wednesday in the journal Science, offers important insights not just for India, but for other low- and middle-income countries.

India now has more than six million cases, second only to the United States.

Among the findings of the study: The median hospital stay before death from Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, was five days in India, compared with two weeks in the United States, possibly because of limited access to quality care. And the trend in increasing deaths with age seemed to drop off after age 65 — perhaps because Indians who live past that age tend to be relatively wealthy and have access to good health care.

The contact tracing study also found that children of all ages can become infected with the coronavirus and spread it to others

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Identification of this epigenetic process highlights potential drug treatment strategies for early-stage disease treatment — ScienceDaily

New findings suggest that late-onset Alzheimer’s Disease is driven by epigenetic changes — how and when certain genes are turned on and off — in the brain. Results were published today in Nature Genetics.

Research led by Raffaella Nativio, PhD, a former research associate of Epigenetics, Shelley Berger, PhD, a professor of Genetics, Biology and Cell and Developmental Biology and Director of the Epigenetics Institute, and Nancy Bonini, PhD, a professor of Biology and Cell and Developmental Biology, all in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, used post-mortem brain tissue to compare healthy younger and older brain cells to those with Alzheimer’s Disease. The team found evidence that epigenetic regulators disable protective pathways and enable pro-disease pathways in those with the disease.

“The last five years have seen great efforts to develop therapeutics to treat Alzheimer’s disease, but sadly, they have failed in the clinic

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Palantir Cofounder Joe Lonsdale Defends The Newly Public Data Mining Company Amid Ongoing Criticism

Palantir Technologies, the once-secretive data mining company, went public through a direct listing on Wednesday, hitting a market capitalization just north of $20 billion on its first day of trading Wednesday. The journey to IPO has been bumpy and at times controversial. Joe Lonsdale, cofounder of Palantir who left the company in 2009 but remains a significant shareholder through his investment firm, 8VC, tells Forbes why the company is necessary, and how he built it in the early days with billionaire investor and Palantir chairman Peter Thiel, CEO Alexander Karp, president Stephen Cohen and others in 2003.

“From the beginning, it was an unusual company, and we had big ambitions to build something that was very important for Western civilization,” says Lonsdale of the company’s grand initial vision. A computer science major who graduated from Stanford University in 2003, Lonsdale edited the conservative

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France to test ‘flying taxis’ from next year: operators

“Flying taxis” will start taking off from an aerodrome north of Paris as soon as next June, operators said, in a trial ahead of a vast tourist influx for the 2024 Olympics.

The experiment will take place at the Pontoise-Cormeilles-en-Vexin aerodrome some 90 minutes northwest of the capital by car, according to a joint announcement by the Ile-de-France region, airports operator Groupe ADP and the RATP public transport agency.

A drone-like, fully-electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle (VTOL) dubbed VoloCity, produced by German company Volocopter, was chosen for the innovative trial with flying taxis in a peri-urban area, they said.

The partners said in a statement they had “decided to bring together all the conditions to make the emergence of this new mode of transport possible to complement the existing modes, whether for the public or for goods.

“Furthermore, the prospect of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games provides an

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Soteria Battery Innovation Group Signs Exclusive License and Option for a Battery Safety Technology by Oak Ridge National Laboratory

The licensed technology is for electrodes and foils for lithium ion batteries that are designed to break in a pre-defined geometry when the battery is physically damaged, effectively isolating the damaged part.  This can minimize the associated generated heat and avoid thermal runaway, or uncontrolled increasing temperature, thus rendering the battery safe.

“This technology can dramatically improve battery safety upon mechanical, thermal and electrical damage,” said ORNL’s Jianlin Li, a principle investigator of the technology. “This can simplify battery design and lead to higher energy density and lower cost.”

Combining the technology with Soteria’s own current collector technology was selected in 2019 for a $750,000 DOE Technology Commercialization Fund project, “Li-on batteries with Safer Current Collectors,” with support from the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Vehicle Technologies Office.

The technology will be especially effective in vehicles, where physical damage can occur in automobile accidents and other

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With Pixel 5, Google continues its fight for smartphone relevance

In 2016, Google’s newly appointed hardware chief, Rick Osterloh, stood on a stage in San Francisco and unveiled a product that many people in the industry never thought would come: a Google-branded phone. 



a close up of electronics: The Pixel 5 Google


© Provided by CNET
The Pixel 5 Google

For years, a “GPhone” to compete with the iPhone had been a mythic prospect — a device that Android fanboys believed could properly take on Apple’s smartphone. The Pixel, with its premium build and high-end price tag, seemed primed to contend. It was glossy and chic, even drawing comparisons to the iPhone’s appearance. It had a remarkable camera with advanced photography software. But it entered a market already dominated by the likes of Apple and Samsung, two of the most popular phone makers in the world. 



a close up of electronics: Google headquarters in Mountain View, California


© Stephen Shankland/CNET

Google headquarters in Mountain View, California


On Wednesday, Google introduced its fifth generation phone, the $699 (£599, AU$999) Pixel 5

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Japan’s asteroid sample-return spacecraft Hayabusa2 gets extended mission

The Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2 is currently making its round-trip return from an asteroid, bringing pieces of the space rock back to Earth. But instead of ending its run with that cosmic delivery, after dropping off its precious parcel, the spacecraft will swing back out into space to visit another rocky destination.

After Hayabusa2 delivers its samples of asteroid Ryugu to Earth in December, the craft will head off toward a new asteroid target: 1998 KY26, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said in a statement. The spacecraft should reach the new asteroid in 2031.

Hayabusa2 reached asteroid Ryugu in June 2018 and spent over a year studying the space rock. The spacecraft left Ryugu in November 2019 and its sample-return capsule will return pieces of the asteroid to Earth with a Dec. 6 landing in the Australian Outback. 

Hayabusa2’s first mission aimed to help scientists learn about the composition of

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Wall Street surges on rekindled stimulus optimism

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks jumped on Wednesday as fresh hopes for a new pandemic relief package and upbeat economic data set the major indexes on course to end the quarter on a high note.

FILE PHOTO: A worker cleans the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) , U.S., March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

All three major indexes moved sharply higher after U.S. House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin both expressed hope for a breakthrough in partisan stimulus negotiations.

“The real thing that’s pushing the markets higher today is hopes for additional stimulus,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York. “But you combine that with good economic news and throw in quarter-end window dressing, you end up with a market that’s up as opposed to where futures were headed last night after the debate.”

Market

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Google Pixel 5 Unveiled: Best Smartphone Camera Gets Better

Google’s yearly fall hardware launch event brings several new products to get excited about, but for most of us, the focus is always on the Pixel phone. This year, it’s the Pixel 5.

Just about every detail of the Pixel 5 was thoroughly leaked before the announcement, so we weren’t particularly surprised by any of the core features or details. But we don’t get the full picture of the phone until we see Google unveil it for itself, when we can see how the company positions the new phone, what it focuses on, and what it feels the key features are.

Google focuses every Pixel launch event around the capabilities of the camera, as it’s easily the strongest part of the phone’s experience. For the Pixel 5, the fundamentals haven’t dramatically changed. Once again it’s using a simple setup, with a 12MP sensor that’s heavily bolstered by Google’s incredible photo

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