Opportunity Rover Tops This Week's Internet News Roundup

Opportunity Rover Tops This Week's Internet News Roundup

(They were, however, very poetic.) What Really Happened: A 15-year space mission finally came to an end last week when NASA announced that it had given up attempts to re-establish contact with Mars rover Opportunity after it fell silent last summer following a dust storm.

The Fallout of the Activision Layoffs Will Last a While

The Fallout of the Activision Layoffs Will Last a While

Unity Might Be Going Public, Which Could Be Troubling for the Independent Developers Who Rely on Unity Unity Technologies, the company behind the incredibly popular Unity game engine, might be up for an IPO in 2020, according to rumors rounded up by Variety .

Women Will Dominate—and Dismantle—the Music Industry in 2019

Women Will Dominate—and Dismantle—the Music Industry in 2019

(Last year's releases from male counterparts Earl Sweatshirt, Pusha T, and Kamasi Washington also flirted with a disregard for structure, thematically and narratively, by testing the limits of paucity, excess, originality.) Pop aspirants of uncanny talent—Noname, Cardi B, Mitski, Hayley Kiyoko, Rico Nasty, and Tierra Whack among them—are demonstrating an immodest, near-singular, anti-populist aptitude for industry-wide reinvention.

A New Robo-Car Report Card Isn't Quite What It Seems

A New Robo-Car Report Card Isn't Quite What It Seems

But its many pages make clear that while the Silicon Valley hype around robocars may have cooled, progress toward the day when humans are unshackled from the steering wheel continues: The 48 autonomous vehicle developers that tested their tech on public roads collectively drove 2.05 million miles between December 2017 and November 2018, up from 500,000 the year before.

The T-Mobile-Sprint Merger Is Scrambling Telecom Politics

The T-Mobile-Sprint Merger Is Scrambling Telecom Politics

The T-Mobile-Sprint Merger Is Scrambling Telecom Politics US representative Anna Eshoo (D-California) says AT&T and Verizon effectively dominate the wireless market, and as a result, "Americans pay some of the highest prices for mobile wireless service in the developed world." Celeste Sloman/Redux Representative Anna Eshoo (D-California) has sparred with the telecommunications industry over issues like net neutrality and privacy over the years.

R.I.P., Opportunity Rover: the Hardest-Working Robot in the Solar System

R.I.P., Opportunity Rover: the Hardest-Working Robot in the Solar System

R.I.P., Opportunity Rover: the Hardest-Working Robot in the Solar System NASA announced that, after 15 years and 5,000 charge cycles, the Mars rover Opportunity is officially dead.

The Pentagon Doubles Down on AI–and Wants Help from Big Tech

The Pentagon Doubles Down on AI–and Wants Help from Big Tech

Federal contracting records indicate that Google, Oracle, IBM, and SAP have signaled interest in working on future Defense Department AI projects. John "Jack" Shanahan, who leads the JAIC, said the unit will focus on rapidly deploying existing AI algorithms and tools, often contracted from technology companies, in military scenarios.

The Real Reason Tech Struggles With Algorithmic Bias

The Real Reason Tech Struggles With Algorithmic Bias

But that would mean tech companies are training their engineers and data scientists on understanding cognitive bias, as well as how to “combat” it. To counter algorithmic, machine, and AI bias, human intelligence must be incorporated into solutions, as opposed to an over-reliance on so-called “pure” data.

There's Still So Much We Need to Learn About Weed—and Fast

There's Still So Much We Need to Learn About Weed—and Fast

With its proximity to the legendary growing regions of Northern California, the center can start to quantify this historically secretive industry, measuring its toll on the environment and looking at how existing rules affect the growers themselves.

Amazon's Self-Driving Bet and More Car News This Week

Amazon's Self-Driving Bet and More Car News This Week

Amazon's Self-Driving Bet and More Car News This Week Self-driving car developer Aurora bagged a $530 million Series B funding round this week, which doubled as Amazon's biggest step to date into the autonomous driving industry.

Nancy Pelosi's Clap at the State of the Union Tops This Week's Internet News

Nancy Pelosi's Clap at the State of the Union Tops This Week's Internet News

What Really Happened: Welp, after a lot of political rigamarole, President Trump gave his State of the Union speech last week—and what a speech it was.

Space Photos of the Week: The Galaxy Next Door

Space Photos of the Week: The Galaxy Next Door

If you’re able to divert your eyes from the big show in the upper right, take a look at the object in the center of the image: That blue cloud is LHA 120-N 180B, likely an active star-forming region.

It's Not too Late for Social Media to Regulate Itself

It's Not too Late for Social Media to Regulate Itself

To protect the public interest and their own businesses, these companies should set up a robust self-regulatory organization along the lines of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), an SRO that derives its authority from the Securities and Exchange Commission. FINRA provides a valuable blueprint for how a self-regulatory organization for the search and social media industry might work.

Micromobility: the Prose and Poetry of the Scooter-Faithful

Micromobility: the Prose and Poetry of the Scooter-Faithful

Micromobility: the Prose and Poetry of the Scooter-Faithful The hype around shared, electric scooters, bikes, and other gizmos has produced a "micromobility" conference, though even the companies involved have started to acknowledge their industry is not a money-printing machine.

AG Nominee William Barr Is No Friend of Telecom Competition

AG Nominee William Barr Is No Friend of Telecom Competition

Second, close off consumer access to any other provider of services—forcing the consumer to do business only with companies affiliated with the owner of the pipeline into the home.” In other words, Barr opposed any rules that he believed amounted to allowing, as he put it in 1999, "the scam of taking a free ride on our [phone] network," but favored rules that would require rivals—ie, cable companies—to be burdened with that same kind of obligation.

Family Trust Shows Silicon Valley’s Secret Obsessions

Family Trust Shows Silicon Valley’s Secret Obsessions

Family Trust Shows Silicon Valley’s Secret Obsessions “My mom just would really love it if I got a job at Google," says former tech worker and first-time novelist Kathy Wang.

Privacy Groups Claim Online Ads Can Target Abuse Victims

Privacy Groups Claim Online Ads Can Target Abuse Victims

New documents filed Monday with regulators in Poland, the UK, and Ireland claim that the way personal data is handled during the process of matching advertisements to ad slots does not comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, a strict set of consumer privacy rules that went into effect in May. The documents focus on the categories that key players in the ad-tech industry have adopted to instantly match advertisers with appropriate users or content.

How Tim Cook’s Data Broker Registry Might Actually Work

How Tim Cook’s Data Broker Registry Might Actually Work

But it has to cover the tech giants and brick and mortar stores, too." Even some data brokers have come around to the idea of a federal privacy law, as long as it levels the playing field for all industries in all states.

Tesla's Cost-Cutting Layoffs and More This Week in Car News

Tesla's Cost-Cutting Layoffs and More This Week in Car News

Headlines Stories you might have missed from WIRED this week Flight Reminder of the Week This week marked 10 years since pilots Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles safely landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River after a bird strike knocked out both of the plane’s engines.

Huawei's Many Troubles: Bans, Alleged Spies, and Backdoors

Huawei's Many Troubles: Bans, Alleged Spies, and Backdoors

Taiwan's decision follows Australia's announcement last year that it will ban the country's carriers from buying equipment for next-generation 5G networks from Huawei and other Chinese telecom companies over fears of government ties.

A New Camera Turns Its Gaze to the Driver—and Everyone Else

A New Camera Turns Its Gaze to the Driver—and Everyone Else

A New Camera Turns Its Gaze to the Driver—and Everyone Else Thanks to some clever machine learning, Guardian's system recognizes when the driver takes their hands off the wheel and whether their head is pointed ahead at the road, or down at a phone, or back at the kids.

Space Photos of the Week: A Cosmic Light Show Rings in 2019

Space Photos of the Week: A Cosmic Light Show Rings in 2019

This New Years’ Eve, the spacecraft flew past the object 2014 MU 69, marking another record of exploration: This 21-mile long icy rock is the most distant object that humankind has ever visited.

Photo Gallery: Capturing the Everyday Horror of Dairy Farming in Germany

Photo Gallery: Capturing the Everyday Horror of Dairy Farming in Germany

“I wanted to update the old-fashioned image of a cow in a green meadow that we know from ads and milk packages,” Teryoshin says, “to show the dystopian side of the milk production.” Germany’s $14 billion dairy farming industry rests squarely on the backs of 4.2 million cows—the majority Holsteins, a sturdy piebald favored around the world for its high milk yield.

Tackling climate change in the poorest countries

Tackling climate change in the poorest countries

Recognizing the urgent need for more action, the World Bank Group announced new and ambitious targets for our climate work with developing countries at COP24, this month’s global climate change conference in Katowice, Poland.

Automakers Denounce 'Unrealistic' EU Emissions Targets

Automakers Denounce 'Unrealistic' EU Emissions Targets

German and other European automakers warned on Dec. 17 that EU plans to slash carbon dioxide emissions from new cars and vans by 2030 are "totally unrealistic" without a network to recharge electric cars and more effort to retrain workers.

Toyota Hits the Water With an Investment in Robo-Ships

Toyota Hits the Water With an Investment in Robo-Ships

It is working on systems that will automate smaller vessels, where human labor can account for more than half of operating costs: workboats (the marine industry’s equivalent of construction vehicles), ships that do offshore surveys, firefighting, security, and responding to oil spills.

The Maddening Struggle to Make Robo-Cars Safe—and Prove It

The Maddening Struggle to Make Robo-Cars Safe—and Prove It

Autonomy has already killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, who was crossing the street in Tempe, Arizona when she was hit by a self-driving Uber SUV.In an effort to make its technology safe, Zoox has brought on Mark Rosekind (left), who headed up the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and aviation industry and safety engineering veteran Gonzalo Rey. ZooxAnd given that testing on public streets is the only way to make these vehicles ready for real, it’s incumbent on this young industry to guarantee that these things are safe.

Startup Founders Think Real Progress on Diversity Is Years Away

Startup Founders Think Real Progress on Diversity Is Years Away

According to the survey, most startup founders think it’ll take more than a decade for the tech industry to become representative of the general population when it comes to gender and racial diversity.

Congress Races to Pass a Self-Driving Car Law By Year's End

Congress Races to Pass a Self-Driving Car Law By Year's End

Those politicians, including Dianne Feinstein of California and Ed Markey of Massachusetts, have argued that the proposed rules do not give regulators sufficient oversight of self-driving car safety.Time to get everyone in line, though, is running out: If legislators don’t pass this bill by the end of the year, both the House and Senate will have to start over from scratch in the new Congress.

Space Photos of the Week: Packing for Mars

Space Photos of the Week: Packing for Mars

At the south pole, the thawing of water and carbon dioxide ices create odd metallic-looking patterns, while at the north pole, an intricate array of polygons appears when the planet transitions from winter to spring.Enjoying being a temporary Martian?

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