Futurism:
this week

Tesla’s electric semi trucks make maiden deliveries

Tesla's all-electric semi trucks have embarked on their first-ever delivery run. The trucks are being used to transport battery packs between two Tesla facilities and should cover a round-trip distance of just under 500 miles, which Tesla says the trucks can complete on a single charge.

Source: Digital Trends

Exercise in old age prevents the immune system from declining

Scientists have concluded that doing lots of exercise in older age can prevent the immune system from declining and protect people against infections. Their study followed 125 long-distance cyclists, some now in their 80s, and found they had the immune systems of 20-year-olds.

Source: BBC

Google is helping the US military build AI for drones

Google has partnered with the US' Department of Defence to use AI for analysing drone footage. The project’s first assignment was to help the Pentagon efficiently process the deluge of video footage collected daily by its aerial drones – an amount of footage so vast that human analysts can’t keep up.

Source: Gizmodo

Uber’s self-driving trucks have begun delivering freight

Uber has announced that it is now operating a fleet of self-driving trucks on its freight-hauling app. The shipments are taking place in Arizona, where Uber says it is using a transfer hub model, in which the trucks drive autonomously on the highway and human drivers take over for the last few miles.

Source: The Verge

Nanoparticle eyedrops could end the need for glasses

Eyedrops containing “special nanoparticles” have reportedly improved both short and long-sightedness in pig's eyes. Clinical testing in humans is set to take place later in 2018 for the process which would see people undergo a less than 1-second-long laser procedure before using the nanoparticles.

Source: Digital Trends

Trump impressed by the price of Falcon Heavy

President Donald Trump has remarked on the price of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket. "I noticed the prices of the last one they say cost $80 million. If the government did it, the same thing would have cost probably 40 or 50 times that amount of money. I mean literally," said Trump.

Source: Ars Technica

Wanted man captured thanks to facial recognition

A Chinese man who was wanted by police for “economic crimes” – which can include anything from tax evasion to the theft of public property – was arrested at a music concert in China after facial recognition technology spotted him inside the venue.

Source: Abacus News

SpaceX president commits to city-to-city rocket travel

SpaceX president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell has reiterated the company’s plans to make city-to-city travel — on Earth — using a rocket that’s designed for outer space a reality. Shotwell says the tech will be operational “within a decade, for sure.”

Source: Recode

Businessman wins battle with Google over 'right to be forgotten'

A businessman fighting for the "right to be forgotten" has won a UK High Court action against Google.. The businessman served six months’ in prison for “conspiracy to carry out surveillance”, and the judge agreed to an “appropriate delisting order".

Source: Press Gazette

UK launched cyber attack on Islamic State

The UK has conducted a "major offensive cyber campaign" against the Islamic State group, the director of the intelligence agency GCHQ, Jeremy Fleming, has revealed. The operation hindered the group's ability to co-ordinate attacks and suppressed its propaganda.

Source: BBC

Goldman Sachs consider whether curing patients is bad for business

Goldman Sachs analysts have attempted to tackle the question of whether pioneering "gene therapy" treatment will be bad for business in the long run. "Is curing patients a sustainable business model?" analysts ask in a report entitled "The Genome Revolution."

Source: CNBC

Four-armed robot performing surgery in the UK

A £1.5m "robotic" surgeon, controlled using a computer console, is being used to shorten the time patients spend recovering after operations. The da Vinci Xi machine is the only one in the country being used for upper gastrointestinal surgery.

Source: BBC

Virgin Galactic rocket planes go past the speed of sound

Virgin Galactic completed its first powered flight in nearly four years when Richard Branson's space company launched its Unity spacecraft, which reached supersonic speeds before safely landing. “We’ve been working towards this moment for a long time,” Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides said in an email to Quartz.

Source: Quartz

Google employees protest being in "the business of war"

Thousands of Google employees, including dozens of senior engineers, have signed a letter protesting the company’s involvement in a Pentagon program that uses AI to interpret video imagery and could be used to improve the targeting of drone strikes. The letter, which is circulating inside Google, has garnered more than 3,100 signatures

Source: New York Times

Computer system transcribes words users “speak silently”

MIT researchers have developed a computer interface that transcribes words that the user verbalises internally but does not actually speak aloud. The wearable device picks up neuromuscular signals in the jaw and face that are triggered by internal verbalisations — saying words “in your head” — but are undetectable to the human eye.

Source: MIT News

Drones could be used to penalise bad farming

A report by a coalition of environmental campaigners is arguing squadrons of drones should be deployed to locate and penalise farmers who let soil run off their fields. Their report says drones can help to spot bad farming, which is said to cost more than £1.2bn a year by clogging rivers and contributing to floods.

Source: BBC

Californian company unveil space hotel

Orion Span, a California company, has unveiled its Aurora Station, a commercial space station that would house a luxury hotel. The idea is to put the craft in low-earth orbit, about 200 miles up, with a stay at the hotel likely to cost $9.5 million for a 12-day trip, but you can reserve a spot now with an $80,000 deposit.

UK mobile operators pay close to £1.4bn for 5G

An auction of frequencies for the next generation of mobile phone networks has raised £1.36bn, says regulator Ofcom. Vodafone, EE, O2 and Three all won the bandwidth needed for the future 5G mobile internet services, which are not expected to be launched until 2020.

Source: BBC