Category: Technobabble

John Ratcliffe Is a Dangerous Pick for Director of National Intelligence

The president’s intent to nominate Robert Mueller’s chief Capitol Hill inquisitor to head the nation’s intelligence community might just be the Trump administration’s most alarming personnel decision yet—even in an administration whose list of departed, disgraced, and indicted former top...

/ July 30, 2019

Algorithms are everywhere but what will it take for us to trust them?

The role of algorithms in our lives is growing rapidly, from simply suggesting online search results or content in our social media feed, to more critical matters like helping doctors determine our cancer risk. But how do we know we...

/ July 30, 2019

Strap on Your Exoskeleton and Dance, Dance, Dance

I'm in the middle of the dance floor. The strobe lights above me are popping in time with the thundering kick drums and violent synth-bass rolling out of the speakers at 110 beats per minute. I'm shuffling to the rhythms,...

/ July 30, 2019

Consumer watchdog: journalism is in crisis and only more public funding can help

Once upon a time, step onto a train and you could be pretty sure that most of the passengers would have their noses buried in newspapers. These days, commuters look at their phones. It’s a powerful example of how much...

/ July 30, 2019

How Australia can make AI work for our economy, and for our people

The idea of robots taking our jobs is not radically new. But artificial intelligence (AI) is now completely reorganising the global economy. Some estimates of productivity-driven economic growth conclude that AI will contribute approximately $US16 trillion to the global economy...

/ July 29, 2019

2 Million People Streamed the ‘Fortnite’ World Cup Finals

Greetings, and welcome to the latest edition of The Monitor, WIRED's entertainment and culture news roundup. What's happening this fine day? Well, for one, a lot of people saw Quentin Tarantino's new movie—and the Fortnite World Cup Finals—this weekend. Also,...

/ July 29, 2019

A Fake Presidential Seal Tops This Week’s Internet News Roundup

Welcome back, faithful reader. After a week off to handle Comic-Con International, While You Were Offline is back—and we have a lot to discuss. For one, President Trump's tweets are once again in the news, this time sparking discussion about...

/ July 28, 2019

Space Photos of the Week: Strap on Your Space Goggles and Bask in the Starlight

This dreamy photo combines visible light from the Hubble Space Telescope (the purples) and high-frequency light from the Chandra X-ray Observatory (the blues) to showcase the activity at this extremely active star-forming region, called NGC 604, located within Messier 33....

/ July 27, 2019

Will Heroes in Loincloths Ever Make a Comeback?

The sword and sorcery movies of the 1980s may look cheesy by today’s standards, but they’re fondly remembered by many fans. Science fiction author Matthew Kressel hosts regular get-togethers where he screens classic movies like Krull. “These are films that,...

/ July 27, 2019

Great Stunt, Spider-Man! Now Let’s Fine-Tune the Physics

Check out this awesome stunt by young Spider-Man star Tom Holland. Yes, this is for the new movie Spider-Man: Far From Home, but I really don't think it's a spoiler unless you weren't expecting Spider-Man to jump around.Holland is a...

/ July 26, 2019

Consumer watchdog calls for new measures to combat Facebook and Google’s digital dominance

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has called for “holistic, dynamic reforms” to address the online dominance of digital behemoths such as Google and Facebook. A 600-page report, released today, makes 23 recommendations for regulating digital platforms – covering...

/ July 26, 2019

SpaceX Just Unleashed Its Starship Rocket for the First Time

Late on Thursday night, at a launch facility in Boca Chica, Texas, SpaceX performed the first flight test of its next-generation Starship rocket, which may one day carry humans to Mars. This time around, the prototype vehicle, dubbed Starhopper, was...

/ July 26, 2019

UPS Wants to Go Full-Scale With Its Drone Deliveries

If UPS gets its way, it’ll be known for vehicles other than its famous brown vans. The delivery giant is working to become the first commercial entity authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to use autonomous delivery drones without any...

/ July 25, 2019

An asteroid just buzzed past Earth, and we barely noticed in time

A 100-metre-wide asteroid passed just 70,000km from Earth on Thursday, Australian time. It was discovered by the Brazilian SONEAR survey just days ago, and its presence was announced mere hours before it zoomed past our planet. The lack of warning...

/ July 25, 2019

Training my dog taught me that it’s people who really need training

As I watched my hunting dog standing off the lead and lined up with all the other Kleiner Münsterländers, awaiting her turn to swim out and bring back the dead duck (an important training item) thrown into the deep water,...

/ July 24, 2019

This Solar Eclipse Photograph Took Two Years to Capture

In August 2017, eclipse mania swept America as people jockeyed for the best spots to watch the first total solar eclipse visible from coast to coast in nearly a century. With the eclipse's path stretching from Oregon to South Carolina,...

/ July 24, 2019

Before Mueller’s Testimony, Dems Demand More Election Security

On the eve of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s much anticipated testimony in the House of Representatives, Senate Democrats are trying to refocus the nation’s attention on Russian interference in US elections. Interference that they predict, and the intelligence community...

/ July 24, 2019

Curious Kids: does the Sun spin as well as the planets?

Curious Kids is a series for children. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, send it to curiouskids@theconversation.edu.au You might also like the podcast Imagine This, a co-production between ABC KIDS listen and The Conversation, based...

/ July 23, 2019

Pinterest Wants You to Relax, Equifax’s $700M Fine, and More News

Pinterest wants to calm you down, Equifax gets hit with a record fine, and facial recognition is still struggling with darker faces. Here's the news you need to know, in two minutes or less.Want to receive this two-minute roundup as...

/ July 22, 2019

FaceApp’s fine print means you effectively can’t sue them, unless you send a letter to their Russian office within 30 days

Viral photo app FaceApp has taken the world by storm. Launched in 2017, the app has recently enjoyed mass popularity due largely to Hollywood celebrities posting their humorous edited pictures online. FaceApp uses “neural network” artificial intelligence technology to alter...

/ July 22, 2019