November 2019

Technology News Headlines



Protesters Took Down a Drone With Standard Laser Pointers

- By Aaron Boyd

Video of Chilean protesters using beams of green light to ground a police drone has been making the rounds on social media. The low-powered presentation laser pointers is becoming a weapon of choice for protesters around the world trying to take down or disable surveillance tech.
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Intel will build AI brains into your laptop for tomorrow's speed boost

- By Stephen Shankland

It may not be obvious, but you're almost certainly using AI every day. Artificial intelligence-boosting hardware in your phone enables voice recognition and spots your friends in photos. In the cloud, it delivers search results and weeds out spam email. Next up for dedicated AI hardware will be your laptop, Intel expects.
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Man sells his baby for $11,000 and spends the cash on tipping female streamers

- By Naga Pramod

A man in China sold his daughter to strangers for nearly $11,000 and used the cash to tip his favorite female hosts on live-streaming sites, a court says. He is now faced with trafficking charges.
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Woman's eye bursts after using her mobile phone too much

- By Michael Moran

A woman who was addicted to her smartphone temporarily blinded herself by overusing it, causing her eye to burst. Doctors managed to save the female patient's vision after her phone addiction left her blind in one eye because blood vessels in her retina had burst from excessive strain.
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Asteroid warning: London Eye-sized asteroid barrelling toward Earth at 103,000 KM per hour

- By SEAN MARTIN

An asteroid bigger than the London Eye is coming close to Earth and NASA has warned that it is “potentially hazardous” to our planet. The space rock known as 2019 UN12 is 147 metres wide, meaning it easily outsizes the 135 metres height of the London Eye, and will pass Earth on November 14.
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Terminally-ill scientist completes transformation into 'world's first full cyborg'

- By Tom Bevan & Shivali Best

A terminally-ill British scientist dying from a muscle wasting disease says has fully completed his transition into the world's first full cyborg - called Peter 2.0. Dr Peter Scott-Morgan, 61, decided to challenge what it meant to be human when he refused to accept his fate following a diagnosis of motor neurone disease in 2017.
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Miami-Dade Cops Want Permanent Access to Controversial Facial Recognition Database

- By JERRY IANNELLI

Since 2001, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office (PCSO) has operated one of the largest facial recognition databases in America. Numerous police departments statewide have opted into accessing the information.
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‘CLEAN ENERGY’ BREAKTHROUGH: New catalyst efficiently produces hydrogen from seawater

- By AAAS and EurekAlert!

Researchers from the University of Houston have reported a significant breakthrough with a new oxygen evolution reaction catalyst that, combined with a hydrogen evolution reaction catalyst, achieved current densities capable of supporting industrial demands while requiring relatively low voltage to start seawater electrolysis.
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The Runit Dome spilling deadly radioactive sludge into Pacific Ocean

- By Charlotte Edwards

An investigation by the Los Angeles Times and Columbia University has revealed that the Runit Dome 'concrete tomb' is leaking. A research team made five trips to the area and found that sea levels around the dome are rising every year and there is evidence of coral bleaching, fish dying and negative impacts on the health of locals.
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Facebook is secretly using your iPhone’s camera as you scroll your feed

- By MIX

iPhone owners, beware. It appears Facebook might be actively using your camera without your knowledge while you’re scrolling your feed. The issue has come to light after a user going by the name Joshua Maddux took to Twitter to report the unusual behavior, which occurs in the Facebook app for iOS.
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AI can predict if you'll die soon – but we've no idea how it works

- By Donna Lu

Artificial intelligence can predict a person’s chances of dying within a year by looking at heart test results – even when they look normal to doctors. How it does so is a mystery.
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Adidas Abandons Robotic Factory Experiment in U.S., Europe

- By Tim Loh

Adidas AG plans to idle experimental “speed factories” in the U.S. and Germany, redeploying techniques developed there to suppliers in Asia, where the vast majority of its products are already made.
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Google's Project Nightingale has allegedly collected tens of millions of health records without patient consent

- By Zach Laidlaw

Tech giants like Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft are moving aggressively into healthcare, but Google could leapfrog them all thanks to a troubling secret project. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google has allegedly been gathering troughs of health data on millions of Americans spanning 21 different states since last year.
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Putin calls for worldwide 'moral rules' to control AI-powered killer robots

- By Michael Moran

Inventor Elon Musk , scientist Stephen Hawking , and even 60s rocker Roger Daltrey have sounded warnings about the dangers of artificial intelligence. Now Russian President Vladimir Putin has added his voice to the call for a set of international guidelines to control the powerful new technology.
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Dog-like robots do backflips and play soccer

- By Bronte Lord

On a recent fall day at MIT, a group of players kicked around a soccer ball on the school's Killian Court lawn. They ran around and jumped in piles of leaves. They even did backflips. But these weren't students, they were cheetahs. Mini cheetahs, actually. Oh, and they're robots.
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Sex robot factory 'looks like Westworld' after producing 'hyper-realistic' dolls

- By David Rivers

A sex robot giant is set to make human-like dolls in a factory that looks like "something out of Westworld". Silicone Lovers told Daily Star Online it is eyeing the production of AI girlfriends that boast "hyper-realism". This includes humanoid movement, voice recognition and sensors that respond to human touch.
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Creepy Chinese facial recognition system puts your name and photo on a billboard if you jaywalk

- By Shivali Best

Facial recognition technology is being used in several Chinese cities, including Shanghai and Shenzhen, which can spot people jaywalking, and post their photo and ID to a huge billboard.
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The rise of microchipping: are we ready for technology to get under the skin?

- By Oscar Schwartz

As implants grow more common, experts fear surveillance and exploitation of workers. Advocates say the concerns are irrational.
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AI robots will be 'as smart as monkeys and have murderous thoughts about humans'

- By Sofie Jackson

Artificial Intelligence robots will soon become as "smart as monkeys" and develop self-awareness, according to theoretical physicist and futurist Michio Kaku.
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How to Deal with Smartphone Stress

- Brad Ridout

In the past decade, smartphones have gone from being a status item to an indispensable part of our everyday lives. And we spend a lot of time on them, around four hours a day on average.
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AI DEEMED ‘TOO DANGEROUS TO RELEASE’ MAKES IT OUT INTO THE WORLD

- By Andrew Griffin

An AI that was deemed too dangerous to be released has now been released into the world. Researchers had feared that the model, known as "GPT-2", was so powerful that it could be maliciously misused by everyone from politicians to scammers.
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This Is How the U.S. Military’s Massive Facial Recognition System Works

- By Dave Gershgorn

Over the last 15 years, the United States military has developed a new addition to its arsenal. The weapon is deployed around the world, largely invisible, and grows more powerful by the day. That weapon is a vast database, packed with millions of images of faces, irises, fingerprints, and DNA data — a biometric dragnet of anyone who has come in contact with the U.S. military abroad.
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If You Want a Robot to Learn Better, Be a Jerk to It

- By MATT SIMON

In what will go down as one of the greatest robotics experiments ever, a few years back researchers in Japan let a robot loose in a mall and watched how kids reacted. Far from the sense of wonder you might expect from children, the mood soured into a sense of concern for the next generation, as the kids proceeded to kick and punch the robot and call it names.
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Critics blast a proposal to curb climate change by halting population growth

- By James Temple

More than 11,000 scientists from a broad range of disciplines signed a new editorial declaring a “climate emergency,” but other researchers immediately criticized one of the proposed remedies: halting population growth.
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E-cigs may damage the heart, study says

- By Elizabeth Donovan

Vaping devices and the chemicals they deliver—increasingly popular among teens—may damage the cardiovascular system, a study said Thursday, adding to a growing chorus of concern over injury and deaths related to e-cigarettes.
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Facebook may soon scan your face to verify your identity

- By MICHAEL GROTHAUS

Facebook is testing a feature that will require users to scan their faces to verify their identities on the platform under certain conditions—that’s according to the findings of developer and researcher Jane Manchun Wong, who found the unreleased verification system buried in a recent build of the app.
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Google Wants More Work from the Defense Department

- By PATRICK TUCKER

If you thought that Google was getting out of the national security business, think again. The company’s senior vice president for global affairs said Tuesday that the search giant has Pentagon contracts to work on cybersecurity, business automation, and deepfake detection — and is looking for more.
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The Internet Is Less Free Than It Was a Decade Ago, Report Says

- By Kiley Roache

The internet is less free than it was a decade ago, and it’s getting worse as some governments expand efforts to use social media to manipulate elections and monitor citizens, according to Freedom House, a Washington-based pro-democracy group.
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French High School Students Will Learn About Bitcoin And Crypto

- By Joeri Cant

France is about to introduce an educational module to its high school curriculum that covers Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies.
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US federal agencies sued for facial recognition deployment info as UK Commissioner calls for police use rules

- By Chris Burt

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit to obtain records relating to their use of biometric facial recognition from the U.S. Justice Department, Drug Enforcement Administration and Federal Bureau of Investigations, The Washington Post reports.
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Virgin Hyperloop seeks backing to build U.S. certification center

- By David Shepardson

Virgin Hyperloop One said Monday it is asking states to support and host the development of a center to advance its futuristic super high-speed travel plans by testing and validating the technology.
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A RUSSIAN STARTUP IS SELLING ROBOT CLONES OF REAL PEOPLE

- By KRISTIN HOUSER

Russian startup Promobot is now selling autonomous androids — and buyers can choose to make the robots look like any person on Earth. “Everyone will now be able to order a robot with any appearance — for professional or personal use,” Aleksei Iuzhakov, Chairman of Promobot’s Board of Directors, said in a press release.
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Too much screen time changes children's brains, study from Cincinnati Children's finds

- By Anne Saker

Young children who get more screen time than doctors recommend have differences in parts of the brain that support language and self-regulation, a study at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center has found.
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World’s largest robotics contest challenged students to find solutions to ocean pollution

- By Associated Press

Seeking to bolster its image as a forward-looking metropolis, Dubai hosted the largest-ever international robotics contest this week, challenging young people from 190 countries to find solutions to global ocean pollution.
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SCIENCE OF ZOMBIES: THE BRAIN-MUNCHING UNDEAD COULD NEVER BE REAL OR COULD THEY?

- By AFP

Hordes of brain-munching undead terrorizing neighborhoods make for fun television and movies, but zombies could never be real... or could they? There are in fact a growing number of documented examples in the animal kingdom of parasites that change their hosts' behavior — and increasing evidence that humans are not immune to zombie-like manipulations.
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Google’s big plan to fight tech addiction: A piece of paper

- By Tanya Basu

Google announced the company’s new “device” involves printing out information that would normally be accessed through a phone—directions, phone numbers, games, and more—on a single piece of paper that’s then folded into eighths. Et voilà, the Paper Phone.
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The most bizarre things Elon Musk has said

- By Mark Matousek

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has an interesting way of looking at both the world and the universe. In August, Musk tweeted, "Nuke Mars," repeating a sentiment he expressed on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" in 2015.
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New printer creates extremely realistic colorful holograms

- By The Optical Society

Researchers have developed a new printer that produces digital 3-D holograms with an unprecedented level of detail and realistic color. The new printer could be used to make high-resolution color recreations of objects or scenes for museum displays, architectural models, fine art or advertisements that do not require glasses or special viewing aids.
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The Most Disturbing But Real Techs of the Past Years

- By Nhx Tingson

Technology is more advanced than ever, and more techs are being produced that will break the world and change the way we see it. But, not everything is awe-inspiring. They're more like spooky and disturbing.
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UFO-themed Nevada brothel, Alien Cathouse is offering online interactive sex robots

- By STACY LIBERATORE

A Nevada brothel that specializes in extraterrestrial fantasies has added futuristic elements to its line-up. Alien Cathouse is offering AI sex robots alongside its human 'Cosmic Kittens' for customers 'that have fetishes that courtesans might not be interested in'.
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Nasa reveals most terrifying planets

- By Harry Pettit

NASA has revealed the scariest planets in the universe in a hilarious video ahead of tomorrow's Halloween celebrations. Deadly worlds with storms of flying glass and surfaces hotter than the Sun feature in the clip, which has been mocked up to look like a 1950s-era B-movie horror trailer.
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China rolls out 5G telecom services

- By AP

China's three major state-run telecom operators have unveiled their 5G network, as the country aims at becoming the global leader in next generation telecom technology surpassing the US and other western nations.
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Russia enacts 'sovereign internet' law, free speech activists cry foul

- By reuters

A law known as the “sovereign internet” bill came into force on Friday in Russia, tightening state control over the global network, which free speech activists say will strengthen government oversight of the country’s cyberspace.
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Microsoft is testing a smartphone-based AI system for driving license tests in India

- By IVAN MEHTA

Microsoft has partnered with a Regional Transport Office in the northern city of Dehradun India to roll out a smartphone-based system for driving license tests. The company’s Harnessing AutoMobiles for Safety (HAMS) uses AI to monitor drivers and their driving.
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What Blade Runner predictions did Harrison Ford movie get right for November 2019?

- By GEORGE SIMPSON

Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi noir is set in Los Angeles in November 2019, this very month. And just like Back to the Future in 2015, the movie’s idea of the future is slightly off, but arguably predicted a few things too.
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Beijing to use facial recognition technology in metro security checks – state media

- By AFP

Beijing will use facial recognition tools to speed up security checks in the city’s overcrowded metro, using a ‘credit system’ to sort passengers into different channels, state-run media reported on Wednesday.
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Inside the dystopian nightmare of an internet shutdown

- By KATIE COLLINS

On Oct. 1, the Iraqi government pulled the plug on the country's internet. With no warning, out it went like a light. Ever since, the internet, messaging services and social networks have flickered on and off like faulty bulbs.
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Toronto is reining in Sidewalk Labs’ futuristic smart city dream

- By Nick Summers

Sidewalk Labs, the part of Google-parent Alphabet that's focused on futuristic cities and urban development, has agreed to compromise on a proposed smart neighborhood in Toronto.
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China preps for the launch of government-backed cryptocurrency, censors any negative backlash

- By Arnold Zafra

It what could one of the biggest turn of events in digital currency space, China, the world’s second-largest economy is reported to be launching its cryptocurrency soon. To prepare for this launch, the Chinese government has started campaigning positively about digital currency – and, of course, silencing those that criticize it.
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