Futurism:
this week

Chinese students test self-sustaining space station

Four students from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics have entered a set of bunkers in a Beijing suburb to try and find out how it feels to live in a space station on another planet. The students will stay in the bunkers for 200 days and will recycle everything from plant cuttings to urine.

Source: Reuters

Kaspersky Lab denies links to Russian Intelligence

The security software firm Kaspersky has moved to deny links to Russian Intelligence. "It's important to be clear: the company never received a request from the Russian government or any affiliated organization to create or participate in ANY secret projects," said Kaspersky in a statement.

Source: Ars Technica

Earth's sixth mass extinction event has already begun

Scientists have analysed the populations of both common and rare species and concluded a sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history is under way that is more severe than previously feared. The scientists also said the loss of wildlife in the last few decades amounts to a “biological annihilation”.

Source: The Guardian

Hyperloop One completes successful test of its tech

Hyperloop One has announced it completed a full-scale test of hyperloop technology in a vacuum environment on May 12th. In the test, the company’s hyperloop vehicle — which uses magnetic levitation, or mag-lev, technology — pulled 2 Gs and reached a speed of 70 miles per hour on the company’s test track in Nevada.

Source: The Verge

All new cars will be electric in Europe by 2035

The Dutch bank ING has predicted that all new cars sold in Europe will be electric within less than two decades. The shift to an all electric car future will be completed by 2035 and will be driven by government support, falling battery costs and economies of scale, according to the bank.

Source: The Guardian

Oculus is said to be working on a $200, wireless VR headset

Facebook owned Oculus is reportedly working on a $200 standalone headset that will serve as a bridge between the mobile-phone-based VR holsters like Samsung's Gear VR and PC-tethered high-end VR headsets like the Oculus Rift. The headset, codenamed Pacific, is set to launch in 2018.

Source: Bloomberg

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