China planning to end sales of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles

Xin Guobin, China's vice minister of industry and information technology, has said the government is working with regulators to put in place a timetable to end the production and sale of cars powered by fossil fuels. It's hoped the move will accelerate the expansion of the electric car market.

Source: Bloomberg

Limited Tesla Autopilot was "partly to blame" for crash

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has found that Tesla's Autopilot system was partly to blame for a fatal accident in which a Model S collided with a lorry. The safety board concluded that Tesla allowed the driver to use the system outside of the environment for which it was designed,

Source: BBC

Chelsea Manning warns about the risks of AI

During a conversation at Noisebridge hackerspace, Chelsea Manning commented on some of the inherent risks of AI. "We’re now using huge datasets with all kinds of personal data, that we don’t even know what information we’re putting out there and what it’s getting collected for," Manning said.

Source: Ars Technica

US government bans Kaspersky software from its agencies

The Department of Homeland security has ordered government agencies to stop using software products made by Kaspersky Lab because of possible ties between Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence. The process of discontinuing Kaspersky products is expected to begin within 90 days.

Source: Ars Technica

Hyperloop One selects ten possible routes for the first hyperloop

Hyperloop One has announced that it has selected ten proposed routes for the first hyperloop. The company also announced that it would “commit meaningful business and engineering resources and work closely with each of the winning teams/routes to determine their commercial viability”.

Source: Inverse

Artificial 'skin' gives robotic hand a sense of touch

A team of researchers from the University of Houston has reported a breakthrough in stretchable electronics that can serve as an artificial skin, allowing a robotic hand to sense the difference between hot and cold, while also offering advantages for a wide range of biomedical devices.

Source: Science Daily

The details of six million Instagram users has been put up for sale

Following a breach, which was thought to have only affected a small number of celebrity accounts, hackers have provided security researchers with a sample of 10,000 Instagram accounts, and have indicated that they have data on a total of six million users.

Source: Ars Technica

Nasa astronaut Peggy Whitson logs 665 days in space

Following her return from the ISS, Peggy Whitson has clocked up the most hours spent in space of any NASA astronaut. Whitson’s 665 days off the planet – 288 days on this mission alone – exceeds that of any other American and any other woman worldwide.

Source: The Guardian

Genetic study shows how humans are evolving

A huge genetic study is underway, using DNA from 215,000 people, to pinpoint how the human genome is evolving. Interestingly, the study suggests that natural selection is getting rid of harmful genetic mutations that shorten people’s lives.

Source: Nature

Hackers gain access to power grid controls

Security firm Symantec has warned that a series of recent hacker attacks, which compromised energy companies in the US and Europe, resulted in the intruders gaining hands-on access to power grid controls. The level of access the hacker acquired meant that they could have caused blackouts.

Source: Wired

Facial recognition could soon identify people with masks on

Using deep learning and a dataset of pictures of people wearing various disguises, researchers were able to train a neural network that could potentially identify masked faces with some reliability. The development means staying anonymous in public could become harder than ever before.

Source: The Verge

Hackers warn of vulnerabilities in German vote counting tech

White hat hackers from the Chaos Computer Club (CCC), a well-known hacking organisation in Germany, have claimed hackers could have manipulated the results of the upcoming election in Germany by using "trivial" attacks against a program used to count and transmit voting results.

Source: Motherboard