The Download

What's up in emerging technology

July 20, 2018 Computer

Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter will now let you transfer data between their services

Some of the tech giants have partnered up to allow easier information sharing between their platforms.

The news: In news originating from the Data Transfer Project, which was founded last year, large sites including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Instagram,… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Markus Spiske | Unsplash

Subscribe and get the bimonthly magazine and unlimited access to online articles.

Starting at $9.99/3 months

July 19, 2018 Troll

State-sponsored trolling is rampant throughout the world—including the US

Governments around the world have used targeted online hate and harassment campaigns to intimidate or silence people.

The news: A report out today by the Institute for the Future, a California-based public policy group, details how widespread this has… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Theodor Kittelsen | {{PD-US}}

Editor's Pick

Maybe we can afford to suck CO2 out of the sky after all

While avoiding the worst dangers of climate change will likely require sucking carbon dioxide out of the sky, prominent scientists have long dismissed such technologies as far too expensive.

But a detailed new analysis published today in the journal Joule...

Read the full story →
July 19, 2018 robot bartender

Boozy bots could serve you up your next cocktail

At the moment, robotic bartenders are costly—but some startups are aiming to make them competitive with human mixologists.

Automating alcohol: The Tipsy Robot, a Las Vegas bar, has an employee that cost more than $1 million to hire. Its robot bartender,… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Makr Shakr
a military drone

Big names in AI vow not to build autonomous weapons

Elon Musk, the founders of DeepMind, and other AI luminaries have signed a letter that guarantees they won’t develop “lethal autonomous weapons.” It’s the latest effort to draw attention to the moral risks raised by AI weapons, but prohibiting the technology… Read more

Image credit:
  • Anguskirk | Flickr

A new Twitter bot helps track wildfires

The account, @WildfireSignal, will help authorities, aid organizations, and affected people monitor fires.

What it does: The tool, created by researchers at a startup called Descartes Labs, pulls the locations of active fires from a government database… Read more

Image credit:
  • Descartes Labs
July 18, 2018 walmart shoppers

Walmart wants us to believe it’s turning into a tech company

Its latest partnerships and new services show the retailer’s continued evolution toward becoming a tech-focused business.

The latest ventures: Earlier this week, Microsoft and Walmart announced a cloud computing partnership—that is, a collaboration between… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Walmart

Editor's Pick

The world’s most powerful supercomputer is tailor made for the AI era

Since 2013, Chinese machines have occupied the number one slot in rankings of the world’s most powerful supercomputers. Now America is back on top again. Engineers at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee have just unveiled...

Read the full story →
July 18, 2018 Google logo

Google’s just been hit with a $5 billion antitrust fine, Europe’s biggest ever

The European Union’s trustbusters want the search giant to cough up major cash as a penalty for using its Android mobile operating system to stifle competition.
 
The charge sheet: The EU alleges that Google uses Android, which powers 80 percent of the… Read more

Image credit:
  • Pawel Czerwinski | Unsplash
July 17, 2018 Kids in classroom

This company is giving away face recognition software to K-12 schools

RealNetworks launched a website today that allows schools in North America to download and implement its facial recognition software for free.

The trial: Called SAFR, the tech is currently being tested at a school in Seattle that the kids of the founder,… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • NeONBRAND | Unsplash