Futurism:
this week

Gatwick Airport closes runway after spotting rogue drone

Gatwick Airport closed one of its runways and diverted five flights because a drone was spotted flying around in the area. An airport spokesman said the runway had been closed for two periods on Sunday – of nine and five minutes – after the drone was sighted.

Source: BBC

Elon Musk confirms arrival plans for the Tesla Model 3

Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed in a tweet that "all regulatory requirements" for the Tesla Model 3 have been passed, two weeks ahead of schedule. Musk also said that the first 30 customers would receive their Model 3s on 28 July at a handover party.

Source: Wired

Virgin Galactic will take passengers into space by the end of 2018

2-and-a-half years after the fatal breakup of Virgin Galactic’s experimental rocket plane, Virgin's founder Richard Branson has said powered tests are set to resume. The test flights will hopefully lead to commercial passenger flights beginning by late 2018.

Source: Bloomberg

Apple planning to replace Touch ID with 3D face-scanning

Apple is testing an improved security system that allows users to log in, authenticate payments, and launch secure apps by scanning their face. The tech will be powered by a new 3D sensor, and Apple is also testing eye scanning tech, which would work alongside the face scanner.

Source: Bloomberg

France wants to ban sale of gas and diesel cars by 2040, end coal by 2022

France’s environment minister, Nicolas Hulot, has said that the country will aim to phase out electricity from coal-fired plants by 2022 and end the sale of gas and diesel internal combustion cars by 2040. Hulot also noted a law would be proposed later this year to end any new operating licenses for oil, gas, and coal mining.

Source: Ars Technica

Snooper's Charter is being taken to court

Human rights group Liberty has been granted permission from the High Court to challenge the UK Investigatory Powers Act, better known as the Snoopers' Charter. Director of Liberty, Martha Spurrier, said: "The Government doesn’t need to spy on the entire population to fight terrorism."

Source: The Inquirer

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