New cars increasingly crammed with distracting technology

The infotainment technology that automakers are cramming into the dashboard of new vehicles is making drivers take their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel for dangerously long periods of time, an AAA study says. The study released Thursday is the latest by University of Utah professor David Strayer, who has been examining the impact of infotainment systems on safety for AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety since 2013. Past studies also identified problems, but Strayer said the “explosion of technology” has made things worse. Automakers now include more…

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Technology could make us immortal. But there will be consequences.

mmortality has gone secular. Unhooked from the realm of gods and angels, it’s now the subject of serious investment — both intellectual and financial — by philosophers, scientists, and the Silicon Valley set. Several hundred people have already chosen to be “cryopreserved” in preference to simply dying, as they wait for science to catch up and give them a second shot at life. But if we treat death as a problem, what are the ethical implications of the highly speculative “solutions” being mooted? Of course, we don’t currently have the means…

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Defense Secretary Mattis predicts bigger defense role for private technology firms

Defense Secretary James Mattis says he sees a growing role for the technology industry in defending the United States. The comments suggest a potential untapped market for Amazon and Google, whose hometowns Mattis visited this week on a West Coast swing, and other large companies like Apple, Facebook and Microsoft. Like the leaders of these tech companies, Mattis is focused on acquiring more expertise in artificial intelligence. The difference is his goal: getting it into the U.S. military faster, to make it a “more lethal and more effective” fighting force. “Many of the advances [in AI] are…

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Bullish: Increasing access to technology for blind people

Technology can be central to the lives of the 285 million people in the world who are blind or visually impaired, as long as they know how to use it. That’s where Erin Lauridsen, access technology director at LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, comes in. In her role, Lauridsen helps ensure people who are blind and visually impaired “know how to access all of the technology that they need to live their lives,” Lauridsen told me on the latest episode of Bullish. That can be anything from computer literacy and smartphone…

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Indeed expansion signals rise of technology jobs in southwestern Connecticut

Southwestern Connecticut’s economy is programmed to grow its technology sector for years to come, according to industry experts. Job-search giant Indeed’s recent announcement that it would increase its Stamford contingent by some 500 people in the coming years represents a milestone for the local economy. Many see the company’s expansion as proof the area is developing into a top destination for technology talent and that Indeed’s plans speak not only to its own success but the potential for other firms in the field. “Any time a large tech company is…

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PNNL lending a hand — and technology — to first responders

  PNNL’s Melanie Godinez and her colleagues partner with first responders to support a regional capability to deter the potential for illicit movement of radioactive materials within, and potentially through, the Puget Sound maritime environment with the intent to do harm. PNNL not only manages the purchase, inventory and distribution of the radiation detection equipment for law enforcement and fire agencies in the Seattle area, it also coordinates training and dock-side drills, like the one shown here. When disaster strikes, first responders rush in to provide assistance. In addition to…

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3D technology helps reveal face of Bronze Age farmer

Academic “time detectives” from Liverpool have used 3D digital technology to reveal the face of a Bronze Age farmer who lived in England 4,000 years ago. Experts from Face Lab at the Liverpool John Moores University used the technology based on the study of the man’s skull, reports Xinhua news agency. The man’s skeleton was found in an ancient burial ground in the county of Derbyshire in the 1930s. For the past 30 years, the remains have been part of a collection at Derbyshire’s Buxton Museum. The project is part…

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New NASA technology to help drones land safely

  NASA scientists have developed a new software that will help drones automatically spot the best places to crash-land in case of an emergency, without hurting anyone on the ground. Increasing numbers of drones in the sky raises the risk to people and property below being hit when these unmanned aerial vehicles develop mechanical problems. Now, Patricia Glaab, an aerospace technologist at NASA Langley Research Centre in the US, and colleagues have developed a crash-landing software for drones. During eight test flights, the technology successfully spotted safer landing sites such…

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US financial technology firm Redline to create 20 new jobs in Belfast

N AMERICAN financial technology company has chosen Belfast as the location for a new global support centre, set to create up to 20 jobs. Redline Trading Solutions, a niche global provider of Fintech services is the latest high profile addition to the burgeoning sector, with Belfast now recognised as the number one destination globally for financial technology R&D investments. Redline, who have headquarters in Boston and offices in New York, London, Hong Kong, chose Belfast over other locations in Britain, Republic of Ireland and Asia for the support centre, which…

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Ulster University invests £2m in new health technology hub

ULSTER University has announced a £2 million investment in a new health centre, it pledges will produce ‘life-changing and life-saving technology’. The Health Technology Hub, will create four new posts and be housed within the Nanotechnology and Integrated Bioengineering Centre (NIBEC) in the School of Engineering at the Jordanstown campus. The new facility will centralise core expertise to support the rapid development of new healthcare technology with support from clinicians and will access expertise from the Connected Health Innovation Centre (CHIC), the BioDevices Lab, the Eastern Corridor Medical Engineering Centre…

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