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+ - Researchers Scrambling to Build Ebola-Fighting Robots->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "U.S. robotics researchers from around the country are collaborating on a project to build autonomous vehicles that could deliver food and medicine, and telepresence robots that could safely decontaminate equipment and help bury the victims of Ebola. Organizers of Safety Robotics for Ebola Workers are planning a workshop on Nov. 7. that will be co-hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Texas A&M, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the University of California, Berkeley. "We are trying to identify the technologies that can help human workers minimize their contact with Ebola. Whatever technology we deploy, there will be a human in the loop. We are not trying to replace human caregivers. We are trying to minimize contact," said Taskin Padir, an assistant professor of robotics engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute."
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+ - Property forfeiture used H-1B cases; feds target 'gorgeous contemporary'->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "In an H-1B fraud case in Texas, the U.S. is using forfeiture laws to try and extract a heavy price from the defendants. The government's complaint list of the items it's seeking through forfeiture. It includes a large, spacious house in Frisco, Texas, with a home movie theater, gym, large windows and soaring ceilings on a palm tree landscaped property. It's described in a real estate video as "gorgeous." The government has used forfeiture laws in other H-1B cases. In 2011, it sent one man to prison for six months and imposed nearly $300,000 in forfeiture penalties in a New Jersey H-1B fraud case. In August, a California man forfeited $100,000 arising out of his H-1B visa fraud scheme."
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+ - Bill Gates Thinks Thomas Piketty's Attack On Inequality Is Right->

Submitted by rvw
rvw (755107) writes "Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates essentially concurs with French economist Thomas Piketty's landmark book on income inequality, according to a review Gates published on his own blog Monday. Those "most important" conclusions? High levels of income inequality are bad, capitalism cannot fix inequality on its own, and government action can help break the vicious cycle in which inequality begets more severe inequality.

It's appropriate that Gates reviewed the book, because he and his philanthropic foundation are actually mentioned to buttress Piketty's argument. After he became a very, very rich man, Gates stopped laboring and focused instead on giving away his money. Yet, more than a decade later, his wealth has actually skyrocketed. In 1998, Gates' net worth was valued at $50 billion. By October 2014, that number had increased nearly 60 percent to $79.3 billion, despite his having given away tens of billions of dollars."

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+ - Journalists Route Around White House Press Office

Submitted by Tailhook
Tailhook (98486) writes "Pool reports written by White House correspondents are distributed to news organizations via the White House Press Office. Reporters have alleged that the Obama White House exploits its role as distributor to `demand changes in pool reports' and has used this power to `steer coverage in a more favorable direction.' Now a group of 90 print journalists has begun privately distributing their work through Google Groups, independent of the Press Office. Their intent is to `create an independent pool-reporting system for print and online recipients.'"

+ - In 2001 the tech industry employed 6.5 million, today it's at 6.3 million->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "In 2001, the tech industry employed 6.5 million people. That year remains the tech industry's employment peak. Tech industry employment reached 6.3 million in the first half of this year, a gain of 118,800 jobs, up 1.9% compared to the first half of 2013. That's below the 3.7% growth rate overall for private-sector employers, according to new data from TechAmerica Foundation."
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+ - Society is hostile to science, tech, says VC Peter Thiel ->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal, billionaire investor and author, says "we live in a financial, capitalistic age, we do not live in a scientific or technological age. We live in a period were people generally dislike science and technology. Our culture dislikes it, our government dislikes it. The easiest way to see "how hostile our society is to technology" is to look at Hollywood. Movies "all show technology that doesn't work, that ... kills people, that it is bad for the world," said Thiel. He argues that corporations and the U.S. government are failing at complex planning."
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+ - Former Infosys recruiter says he was told not to hire U.S. workers->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "A lawsuit by four IT workers alleging that outsourcing firm Infosys favored hiring Indian workers over U.S. workers now includes an account from a former Infosys recruiter about the alleged practice. It includes accounts by Samuel Marrero, who worked in Infosys's talent acquisition unit from 2011 until May 2013, of meetings with executives at the India-based IT services firm. Marrero and other recruiters "frequently complained" to higher-ups at Infosys during these weekly calls that many of the highly qualified American candidates they had presented were being rejected in favor of Indian prospects. In response to one of these complaints, Infosys' global enterprise lead allegedly said, "Americans don't know shit," according to the lawsuit. Infosys has denied allegations that it discriminates."
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+ - One in three jobs will be taken by software or robots by 2025, says Gartner ->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "Gartner predicts one in three jobs will be converted to software, robots and smart machines by 2025," said Peter Sondergaard, Gartner's research director at its big Orlando conference. "New digital businesses require less labor; machines will make sense of data faster than humans can," he said. Smart machines are an emerging "super class" of technologies that perform a wide variety of work, both the physical and the intellectual kind. Machines, for instance, have been grading multiple choice test for years, but now they are grading essays and unstructured text. This cognitive capability in software will extend to other areas, including financial analysis, medical diagnostics and data analytic jobs of all sorts, says Gartner. "Knowledge work will be automated.""
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+ - Patent issued for biometric pressure grip mouse ->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "Defense contractor Raytheon has received a patent for mouse that has a biometric pressure grip. It believes the pressure grip, as a form of authentication, will be particularly hard to defeat because it works from a neurological pattern versus a physical pattern, such as a facial scan. "It's not just how much pressure you exert on the mouse itself, but it's also the x-y coordinates of your position," said Glenn Kaufman said, a cybersecurity engineer, about his invention. The approach was inspired by similar pressure grips used in smart guns."
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+ - Solar Could Lead In Power Production By 2050->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "Solar power could be the leading source of electricity compared with other renewables and conventional sources of power, such as oil and coal, according to a pair of reports from International Energy Agency. PV panels could produce 16% of the world's electricity, while solar thermal electricity (STE) is on track to produce 11%. At the end of 2013, there had been 137GW of solar capacity deployed around the world. Each day, an additional 100MW of power is deployed. One reason solar is so promising are plummeting prices for photovoltaic cells and new technologies that promise greater solar panel efficiency. For example, MIT just published a report on a new a material that could be ideal for converting solar energy into heat by tuning the material's spectrum of absorption. Ohio State University just announced what it's referring to as the world's first solar battery, which integrates PV with storage at a microsopic level. "We've integrated both functions into one device. Any time you can do that, you reduce cost," said iying Wu, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Ohio State."
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+ - Supercomputing upgrade produces high-resolution storm forecasts->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "A supercomputer upgrade is paying off for the U.S. National Weather Service, with new high-resolution models that will offer better insight into severe weather. This improvement in modeling detail is a result of a supercomputer upgrade in the summer of 2013. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which runs the weather service, put into production two new IBM supercomputers, each 213 teraflops, running Linux on Intel processors. These systems replaced 74-teraflop, four-year old systems. More computing power means systems can run more mathematics, and increase the resolution or detail on the maps from 8 miles to 2 miles."
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+ - U.S. may be falling behind in cyber-physical system research ->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "The White House has identified cyber-physical system research and development as a “national priority” that could boost U.S. productivity. But federal spending is telling a different story. A major source of research dollars is the National Science Foundation (NSF). It will fund more than $40 million in cyber-physical systems research in the 2014 fiscal year, which ended Tuesday. This amounts to about 0.5% of the approximately $7 billion the U.S. spends on basic research through this agency. It has spent, in total, $200 million in this area since 2009. Separately, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is deeply involved in standards and data formats, is running its cyber-physical program on $4.3 million. A NIST report found that the European Union “is already investing $343 million per year for 10 years to pursue ‘world leadership’ through advanced strategic research and technology development related to CPS" (cyber-physical systems). That includes $199 million in public funds and $144 million in private funds"
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+ - Scotland independence seen as 'cataclysmic' ->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "Scotland is not a major high-tech employment center, but it has good universities and entrepreneurial energy. About 70,000 people work in tech out of a total workforce of about 2.5 million, or about 3%. By contrast, financial services accounts for about 15% of employment in Scotland. But passions are high. "Honest, I've never been so scared in my life," said Euan Mackenzie about the prospect of separating from the U.K. He runs a 16-employee start-up, 1partCarbon, in Edinburgh, a platform that builds medical systems. "For tech start-ups, funding will be tougher to find and more expensive, there will be no local banks, access to EU markets and the freedom of movement will be curtailed," said Mackenzie. "As someone who enjoys risk and new opportunities, my company will remain in Scotland and make the best of whichever side prevails on Thursday, but the effect of independence on tech start-ups and the whole Scottish economy will be cataclysmic," he said."
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