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Google is using laser technology to bring a new, cheaper Internet to remote areas

The tech – which uses a stop sign-sized terminal which beams lasers carrying data to a corresponding terminal – will provide high-speed Internet access.

This is not the first time that Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has embarked on a mission to bring reliable, cheap Internet to communities in rural and remote areas.

But this time around, the team at the tech giant’s innovation hub X-lab has learned from past failures.

In 2016, the lab sought to broaden Internet access by using stratospheric balloons but that project was ultimately wound down due to high costs.

Now they’ve turned to a new technology for what they call the Taara project: using neatly designed terminals that beam data-carrying lasers to corresponding terminals over fixed distances – essentially fiber-optic Internet without the cables.

According to the head of Taara, Mahesh Krishnaswamy, things are progressing better this time around.

And now telecommunication partners like Bharti Airtel in India are using the machines to build out Internet infrastructure in hard-to-reach locations.

Taara executives and Bharti Airtel say they are now moving toward larger-scale deployment of the new laser Internet technology in India.

Beyond that, Krishnaswamy adds that Taara is helping to link up Internet services in 13 countries so far, including Australia, Kenya and Fiji.

High-speed Internet by laser

At Project Taara’s lab in Mountain View, California, Krishnaswamy and his team of engineers experiment with mirrors of different focal lengths as well as special tables designed to recreate conditions that terminals would be subjected to out in the field, such as shaking from wind, animals or traffic.

Krishnaswamy said he had an epiphany for this new initiative while working on the failed balloon Internet project, called Loon, which used lasers to connect data between balloons.

Krishnaswamy was recently in Osur, an Indian village where he spent his childhood summers, three hours south of Chennai, for the installation of Taara equipment. Osur will be receiving high-speed Internet for the first time this summer, he said.

“There’s hundreds of thousands of these villages across India,” he said. “I can’t wait to see how this technology can come handy to bring all of those people online.”

According to Astro Teller, the CEO of Alphabet’s X-lab, ‘Taara is moving more data every single day than Loon did in its entire history”.

In July 2020, Google committed $10 billion (€9.1 billion) to digitizing India. It invested $700 million (€639

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American Technology Found in Chinese Spy Balloon Debris

the Chinese spy balloons captured images and video surveillance using American technology, US officials reported on Thursday. The balloon, which was shot down off the coast of South Carolina earlier this year, likely didn’t transmit the information back to the Chinese government based on a preliminary investigation, although the investigation is still ongoing.

in Februarythe Chinese government denied the balloon was intended for surveillance, claiming instead that it was a weather balloon that had blown off course. But when the US military retrieved the debrisit found technology suitable for capturing information from the ground including tools that are designed to gather and transmit data.

that technology has now been identified as commercially available in the US, with some of the technology readily available online, officials told the Wall Street Journal. The gear found in the debris supported the government’s belief that the balloon was intended to spy on the US and contradicted China’s claims that it was used for weather monitoring.

The latest reports that the balloon did not transmit valuable information to China contradicting an earlier piece by NBC in April which stated that sensitive military information was transmitted by the spy balloon overseas. The outlet cited two unnamed senior US officials and one unnamed former senior administration official, who reportedly said the balloon passed over multiple military sites and sent real-time information back to Beijing despite the Biden Administration’s best efforts to prevent it.

At the time of its discoverythe US military had moved potential targets to stop the balloon from picking up electronic signalsand Pentagon officials issued a statement in February, they were days before the balloon was shot down, saying it didn’t believe the balloon was able to capture sensitive information. “We assess that this balloon has limited additive value from an intelligence collection perspective,” officials said. “But we are taking steps, nevertheless, to protect against foreign intelligence collection of sensitive information.”

The new findings now seem to mirror the statement, as unnamed officials told the WSJ that Beijing had not obtained any information, but did not tell the outlet whether the balloon had malfunctioned or if the US military’s quick reaction prevented it from collecting data. Beijing has warned that it will be forced to take extreme action if the US government releases its

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360 Turbine Technology: Leatt’s take on anti-rotational technology

Fun, fitness, excitement – ​​the reasons for riding bikes are numerous and personal. As committed cycling addicts, we are forever celebrating the positives, but our favorite activity also comes with an element of risk.

It was a reality that Leatt founder, Dr Chris Leatt, faced in 2001 when a fellow motocross rider died on the tracks, and he set his sights on designing a neck brace to help prevent future tragedies.

The South African company has since devised safety solutions for cyclists and full-body protection for mountain bikers. In 2017, Leatt introduced new helmet protection called 360 Turbine Technology. This is claimed to protect riders from both low-speed linear impacts and rotational acceleration. It features across the full range of Leatt helmets, including the MTB 3.0 Enduro.

We caught up with Dr Leatt to discuss some of the finer details of 360 Turbine Technology and the MTB 3.0 Enduro helmet.

Ultimate protection

Leatt’s Turbine 360 ​​technology uses small gel-like tabs designed to help protect the brain from rotational impacts.
Leatt

Anti-impact technology in cycling helmets is not new. MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) is a familiar safety feature across road helmets and MTB lids. Designed to protect the brain from rotational impact, MIPS is a thin layer that sits between the EPS foam and helmet liner.

Leatt’s 360 Turbine Technology looks altogether very different. Small, round ‘turbines’ made from a soft gel-like substance are positioned strategically around the helmet, hardening on impact to help protect the brain.

“Instead of one large slip-plane, Leatt chose to develop multiple smaller ones, that when displaced act as a slip-plane, but have the added advantage of also being able to offer low-speed linear dampening, not included in larger slip-planes plane technologies,” explains Dr Leatt.

The company developed the technology to meet the HIC (Head Injury Criteria) as assessed by helmet standards organizations, such as SNELL, ECE and DOT.

“In the past,” explains Dr Leatt, “it was thought that linear deceleration was the only important consideration for the risk of brain injury. We now know that brain rotational accelerations and velocities are of great importance when assessing the risk of brain injury and new computations for the risk of brain injury have been added to standard helmet testing, including these parameters.”

Leatt Turbine 360 ​​explainer advertorial 11

Leatt’s technology is claimed to reduce the chances of concussion.
Leatt

While we are all aware that high-velocity impacts can be catastrophic, those small

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The risks of artificial intelligence must be considered as the technology evolves: Geoffrey Hinton

Artificial intelligence can be used as a force for good – but there are also big risks involved with the generative technology as it gets even smarter and more commonly, the “godfather of AI” Geoffrey Hinton told the Collision tech conference in Toronto on Wednesday.

In a Q&A with Nick Thompson, CEO of The Atlantic magazine, Hinton – a cognitive psychologist and computer scientist who is a University Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto – expanded on concerns he has recently expressed about the technology he plays a key role in developing.

“We have to take seriously the possibility that (AI models) get to be smarter than us – which seems quite likely – and they have goals of their own,” Hinton said during a standing-room-only event at the conference, which was expected to draw nearly 40,000 attendees over three days.

“They may well develop the goal of taking control – and if they do that, we’re in trouble.”

Hinton, who recently left Google so he could speak more freely about AI risks, was one of several U of T community members scheduled to speak at Collisionwhich is billed as North America’s “fastest-growing tech conference” and counts the university as an event partner.

The government of Ontario used the occasion of the conference to announce that the Vector Institute – a partnership between government, universities and industry where Hinton is chief scientific adviser – will receive up to $27 million in new funding to “accelerate the safe and responsible adoption of ethical AI” and help businesses boost their competitiveness through the technology.

During his talk, Hinton outlined six potential risks posed by the rapid development of current AI models: bias and discrimination; unemployment; online echo chambers; fake news; “battle robots”; and existential risks to humanity.

Hinton spoke before a standing-room only crowd at the conference (photo by Johnny Guatto)

When Thompson suggested that some economists argue that technological change over time simply transforms the function of jobs rather than eliminating them entirely, Hinton noted that “super intelligence will be a new situation that has never happened before” – and that even if chatbots like ChatGPT only replace white-collar jobs that involve producing text, that would still be an unprecedented development.

“I’m not sure how they can confidently predict that more jobs will be created for the number of jobs lost,” he said.

Hinton added much of his concern

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Chinese ‘spy’ balloon used American technology

HONG KONG — The suspected Chinese spy balloon that flew over the United States early this year used commercially available, off-the-shelf technology that was American-made, according to three US officials familiar with preliminary findings by the FBI.

The officials said the Biden administration first suspected the balloon could be carrying US-made equipment or parts within the first hours after it was detected and that it had sent aircraft to check it out and take photos. They said those suspicions had been confirmed by analysis of debris that was recovered after the balloon was shot down by the US military Feb. 4.

The Biden administration tracked the balloon for eight days as it traveled across Alaska, Canada and the continental US, including over sensitive military sites, before it was downed by a fighter jet off the coast of South Carolina. The results of the analysis by the FBI and other defense and intelligence agencies have not yet been publicly released.

The balloon incident further destabilized relations between the US and China, the world’s two largest economies, and led Secretary of State Antony Blinken to postpone a planned trip to Beijing until this month.

China maintains that the balloon was a civilian airship that strayed off course while conducting meteorological research and that the US overreacted by shooting it down.

“The unmanned civilian airship drifting over the United States was an accidental incident caused by force majeure, and the claim that the balloon was a spy balloon, as well as gathering intelligence, is a complete smear against China,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a regular briefing in Beijing on Friday.

The presence of US technology on the balloon, which President Joe Biden has described as carrying “two boxcars full of spy equipment,” was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

News of the findings came as Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu warned that Chinese aggression could inadvertently lead to war.

“If you look at the history of war, there are plenty of wars out of accidents, out of inadvertent accidents,” Wu told NBC News’ chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel in an interview Thursday.

He added that his country had inspired Ukrainian forces battling a much larger Russian enemy.

“We have seen the very brave Ukrainian soldiers defending their freedom, defending their sovereignty and that is something we want to learn,” he said.

China claims the self-ruling democracy, which

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