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Emerging tech, explained

(S. Phillips) -  

What does the technology of the future look like? Batteries made of molten salt, fusion energy, 6G networks, synthetic biology, and quantum computing may become as familiar as taking pictures with your phone.

These technologies are already reshaping the global economy and the United States’s place in it, according to a new report from the Special Competitive Studies Project, a bipartisan nonprofit organization.

For the U.S., staying ahead on the technology of the future is essential to creating a climate of uplifting privacy laws and maintaining human rights rather than encouraging surveillance and interfering with democratic governance. Attention to emerging technology also impacts the U.S. economy–the country where the platforms are created is where many of the jobs will be. 

Some key technologies that will be battlegrounds for the next decade include:

Artificial intelligence: Simply put, artificial intelligence (AI) is a computer that mimics the human brain, but answers questions and solves problems faster than a person. To lead in AI, the U.S. needs computing power, strong algorithms (programming), large high-quality data sets, effective applications and integrations, and the talent to create it all. Right now, the U.S. leads in developing algorithms and in developing talent. 

Next generation networks: Most American phones don't work on 5G, but sixth generation, or 6G, broadband is here and potentially 100 times faster.  Low-earth orbit satellites could also bring wireless—without the cell towers—to millions of people and remote areas. The People’s Republic of China currently has the most next-gen wireless patents of any country.

Synthetic biology: No single definition of synthetic biology exists, but most experts define it as the concepts, approaches and tools that allow organisms to be created or changed, whether to make rice more vitamin-rich or to create a new medicine. The U.S. continues to make advances in this field with companies conducting research and producing publications and patents.  

Advanced manufacturing: Advanced manufacturing involves an integration of cutting-edge hardware, networks, robotics, and AI to create products more efficiently at home. On the global level, current data give the U.S. a slight edge in robotics.

Fusion energy: While usable fusion—the clean energy used to power the sun—doesn’t exist yet, the U.S. is home to the majority of fusion companies and could be the world leader in this area if commercial fusion energy becomes available in 2024 and goes on the power grid after 2030.

Quantum computing: A completely theoretical concept even 30 years ago, quantum technologies have entered practical reality, completing tasks in minutes that would take older generations of computers 10,000 years to finish. Although the U.S. leads the world in quantum computing patents and papers, China is dedicating significant government funding to the field.

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Technology is reshaping warfare

(NewsUSA) - New and emerging technology is changing how wars are fought, even the nature of war, and the United States needs to embrace these changes, according to a new report from the Special Competitive Studies Project, a bipartisan nonprofit with the goal of strengthening American competitiveness in technology such as artificial intelligence.

Technology including cyber warfare, constant data collection, and artificial intelligence is changing traditional ideas of frontlines and battlefields and bringing global conflicts closer to home. For example, China and Russia have leveraged technology in the form of cyberattacks, theft of intellectual property, sabotage, and disinformation to wage a persistent, but often invisible conflict with the United States.

In addition to cyberattacks and intellectual property theft that costs the United States hundreds of billions of dollars annually, this “persistent conflict” could ultimately include micro-targeting of leaders, diplomats, warfighters, and their families with smear campaigns, psychological pressure or, even biological warfare, the report notes. Additionally, anything that relies on computer systems and the internet could be vulnerable. However, there are no international guidelines or conventions to restrict technology attacks. 

An example of the new style of warfare is on display in Ukraine, the report observes. The Ukrainian government works with civilians to track Russian forces on messaging services and apps, uses AI to identify soldiers, raises money with Internet-based, non-fungible tokens and connects to the Internet via the Elon Musk-developed satellite service Starlink. 

To help combat the use of technology in a “technology war,” the United States must step up and counter these tech tactics, the report says.

The report recommends 10 initiatives as part of a plan to “offset” high-tech threats. These initiatives include pursuing software advantages in every aspect of military activities and capabilities, and creating human-machine collaborations. 

“‘Offset’ means that we will never try to match our opponents or our competitors tank for tank, plane for plane, person for person,” says Robert O. Work, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense and board member of the Special Competitive Studies Project. “So, what we do is we seek ways in which to ‘offset’ our potential adversary's advantages.”

This year’s military and defense budget has the largest budget request ever made for technology research and development and calls for more government partnership with private sector tech companies to support American troops and prepare them for the new generation of technology-focused war and peacekeeping.

Visit to learn more.

Working Moms Stay Connected to Children Through Messenger Kids

They never want to miss a moment with their kids, but also feel the pressure to be present at work.

Getting updates throughout the day makes working moms feel more connected to their kids, and Messenger Kids, a new app available in the US for iOS, Android and Fire tablets, is making it easier for working moms and their kids to talk.

Messenger Kids puts the power to communicate in the hands of children and lets them reach out to mom whenever they need to.

"After talking to thousands of moms and working with the Working Mother Research Institute, we've found that 84 percent of moms wish they could have a brief look into how their child's day is going. Most feel there's a need for apps that let kids connect with people they love, but also have the level of parental control parents want," says Antigone Davis, Facebook Global Head of Safety.

Communication apps such as Messenger Kids have many benefits, including:

•  Connection. Apps are a great way for children to connect with the people they love. With Messenger Kids, kids can video chat and message with parent-approved contacts once their account is set up by a parent or guardian.

•  Creativity. An app should be fun and allow kids to express themselves within the limits set by parents. Messenger Kids features a library of specially chosen GIFs, frames, stickers, masks and drawing tools that let them decorate photos and videos and have more fun with video chats.

•  Control. Messenger Kids helps ease parents' concerns about how children are using devices and whether they are using apps that are age-appropriate. It also gives parents more control. Parents fully control the contact list and kids can't connect with people that their parent does not approve.

•  Convenience. Apps, especially those built for kids, must be easy to set up and use. Once the account is established, the home screen shows kids at a glance whom they are approved to talk to and when those contacts are online. In addition, parents can chat with kids through their regular Messenger account, so it's convenient for both parent and child.

This Mother's Day, and every day with Messenger Kids, moms never have to miss a moment.

New AI Platform Protects Musicians’ Work

DigiTrax Entertainment, a leader in the use of artificial intelligence in the music industry, recognizes this and has found a way to harness the analytical power of AI to help protect musicians from copyright infringement.

The new DigiTrax product, Music Fact Reports, can act as a personal CSI lab for forensic musicology, according to Joseph Vangieri, CEO of DigiTrax Entertainment.

"We believe Music Fact Reports will be a major step forward for rights holders," Mr. Vangieri says in a statement announcing the launch of Music Fact Reports.

The Music Fact Reports program helps individual musicians by saving them the hassle, time, and expense of hiring a professional forensic musicologist to conduct an analysis before deciding whether a copyright infringement case is worth pursuing with a lawyer.

The program also can be used by copyright lawyers to evaluate the strength of potential cases, and by publishers seeking to confirm the originality of a contracted musical work.

The Music Fact Reports program works on the power of artificial intelligence by extracting sequences from pieces of music and comparing them to other works using music theory-based algorithms.

"We are working towards a future in which analyzed sequences of data for all copyrighted pieces of music are stored in a database that can be accessed and searched to detect levels of extrinsic similarity instantly," says DigiTrax Chief Technical Officer Marcus Matusiak in a statement announcing the Music Fact Reports launch.

The Music Fact Reports program is currently being used by attorney Richard Wolfe of Wolfe Law in Miami, Florida, to pursue a copyright-infringement case involving instrumental music.

"I think the technology is cutting-edge for purposes of identifying substantial similarity in two pieces of music in terms of rhythms, beats, and extrinsic similarity," says Mr. Wolfe.

To promote the launch of the Music Fact Reports program and showcase its potential, DigiTrax engineers have developed Music Fact Reports for the top 10 copyright infringement cases of all time, Mr. Vangieri says.

Visit for the reports on the Top 10 music-copyright-infringement cases, and for more information about how DigiTrax helps protect musicians.

2018 Grads Send Messages of Thanks to Mom This Mother’s Day

This Mother's Day, graduates across the country are taking a moment to express their thanks as they get ready for the real world, and Messenger is one tool they're using to do it. In fact, Mother's Day is one of the most popular days on Messenger all year.

Omid Afshar, a singer-songwriter and actor who is graduating from college this May, has an extra special thank you for his mother.

"To my beautiful mom, thank you for motivating me every day to keep on going to school and get this degree I've always dreamt of having. I can't believe the time has finally come that I am graduating from the same college as you. I feel like the luckiest son in the world to have you love and support me unconditionally. I love you so much," says Afshar.

As grads like Afshar start college or head out into the world, Messenger has many features to help grads stay connected with their moms, other motherly figures in their lives, old friends and new, as they take the next step:

Video chat. Feeling a little homesick? See your mom face-to-face, even if you won't admit you're missing her.

Get customized. Change your mom's nickname in a chat, add a custom color and set an emoji that's just for the two of you.

Chat with the group. Stay in touch with your high school or college besties even if you're going in different directions after graduation, or use group chats to get the whole family together in one place.

Use payments. Out of cash? Mom can quickly send money right through Messenger. Or with group payments, go in on a group gift for mom for Mother's Day with other family members.

Artificial Intelligence Platform Music to Producers’ Ears

DigiTrax Entertainment is one company on the forefront of the AI in music movement, using AI and machine learning to analyze and create new music.

The DigiTrax flagship program, Music Builder, has proven so popular that company leaders will participate in the highly exclusive National Association of Music Merchandiser trade show in Nashville, TN this summer after winning the semifinal round of the 2018 InnoSTARS Competition in Atlanta.

"We are thrilled that the discerning panel of judges at InnoSTARS agreed that our artificial intelligence music technology represents a paradigm shift in the way we create and enjoy music," says Joseph Vangieri, CEO of DigiTrax.

"We understand the underlying technology that drives the music industry," Vangieri says.

"We have an expert AI system for music creation, and we recognized the incredible potential for the 15-billion-dollar music production industry," he explains. DigiTrax boasts a music catalog of more than 15,000 songs, and delivers music to major distribution platforms including YouTube, Google Play, and iTunes, as well as third-party software partners such as Yamaha Music Soft.

The ultimate goal for DigiTrax is to change the music industry in the way that CGI (computer-generated imagery) changed the movie industry, says Vangieri.

Challenges facing the music production industry are time, money, and the need for an extensive production team that could include composers, arrangers, and musicians.

The Music Builder program addresses all three of these challenges, and allows users to create more musical content in less time without the need for specialized staff.

The music professionals at DigiTrax are experts in producing, licensing, marketing and distributing music. In addition, their AI technology allows them to offer a service for musicians to quickly and easily compare songs if they suspect their original work has been copied by someone else.

"We believe our AI Platform, The Music Builder, will impact almost every area of music, and our seven granted patents will help protect our intellectual property," Vangieri emphasizes.

Visit for more information about how DigiTrax plans to turn the music industry on its ears.


Music Innovation Company Scores Spot in Global Competition

The InnoSTARS Competition provides an opportunity for innovative United States companies to connect with potential investors and partners from China.

The semi-finalists will have the opportunity to make regional contacts in Chinese technology hubs and obtain valuable global perspective and feedback on their products.

DigiTrax Entertainment CEO Joseph Vangieri and CTO Marcus Matusiak made the winning presentation at the InnoSTARS competition, which earned DigiTrax the unique business opportunity to travel to China later in 2018.

The DigiTrax team will present the company to potential investors in the areas of artificial intelligence and music creation and production.

The InnoSTARS participants will visit 19 Chinese cities with established business climates conducive to innovation and technology.

"That the Association of Chinese Professionals of Atlanta and the US China Innovation Alliance have honored DigiTrax with this win represents an important step forward for us," Mr. Vangieri says.

The opportunity to visit China allows the company to expand its pool of potential investors and explain how "its unique approach to artificial intelligence in the music field is both effective and potentially highly lucrative," Mr. Vangieri says.

Accredited investors seeking more information about the company can visit Digitrax's SeedInvest portal at

What sets DigiTrax apart is its unique use of artificial intelligence to simultaneously address the major challenges facing the music production industry: time, money, and personnel.

Music Builder, the DigiTrax flagship musical technology platform, allows users to create, produce, and distribute music efficiently and cost-effectively, without the need for an extensive team of production specialists.

In addition, DigiTrax uses AI technology to help musicians easily compare songs and parts of songs to determine whether their original work has been plagiarized.

The Knoxville, Tennessee-based company owns seven patents in music artificial intelligence and machine learning, and boasts an extensive catalog of musical content.

For more information, visit


Technology Breakthroughs Drive Clean Energy Success

For instance, while solar panels have long been a way of minimizing one's carbon footprint - be it a homeowner or a company - cost, construction, implementation, and a myriad of other reasons, have made it problematic to utilize these alternative energy sources.

Now however, the evolving technology allows for the use of solar energy on the interior or exterior of buildings and are, once again, gaining in popularity.

As an example, solar panels can be integrated into newly constructed commercial and residential buildings.

To this end, integration can maximize the technology of thin-film solar panels by curbing costs of heating and air conditioning. Solar power can be integrated into either flat or slanted rooftops, as well as interior walls and ceilings.

Similarly, older buildings can become greener with retrofitting and the use of thin-film solar panels. Factories, large residential buildings, and other structures can enjoy the financial and environmental benefits of solar energy while preserving the existing building structure.

Innovations in solar panel technology have resulted in panels that are thin yet durable, and can blend with existing tiles for a more subtle and attractive appearance that is equally functional in terms of energy.

The Hanergy Thin Film Power Group, a pioneering multinational clean energy company, is one example of a company on the cutting edge that has developed a new generation of solar cells for thin-film solar panels.

The new technology is environment-friendly, pollution-free, and cost-effective, averaging a high-power output and offering good performance even in low light.

Some recent innovations include copper indium gallium selenide, GaAs (single junction), GaAs (double junction) and efficient silicon heterostructure technology.

Hanergy has developed curved tiles that can be used for roofs of commercial buildings and residential houses that are unable to hold the weight of conventional solar panels. Hanergy's flexible solar thin-film can also be used on light posts, boats, or other uneven surfaces where solar energy is desired.

Other products include building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) or HanWall which could light up the buildings with its unique glass wall design and is availabile in different colors and various sizes allowing the building designers to utilize their creative ability to build new eco landmarks.

In addition, Hanergy has developed solar charging products to harness solar power for phones or other devices while outdoors, including a solar umbrella.

For more information, visit and

New Solution Helps Parents Manage Kids’ Device Use at Home

Parents are right to be concerned as device use reportedly rises with the warmer temperatures. In fact, they say that children spend as much as four more hours a day online during the summer months.

Comcast's latest "Active Time Alert" feature on Xfinity xFi, available with Xfinity Internet, however, can help parents set healthy time limits for their child's device use at home. Xfinity Internet customers with a compatible wireless Gateway can easily access xFi features for no additional charge online, on their TV via the X1 voice remote, or on the xFi mobile app. Parents simply create and choose a child's user profile within the xFi app and set time limits on the in-home network for weekdays and weekends.

The survey also found that use of Wi-Fi devices can easily overtake other vacation activities. Over half (56 percent) of the parents of teenagers responded that they thought their teens would prefer to go online rather than play in the ocean during a vacation.

Additionally, according to the survey, 76 percent of parents report that their children are more addicted to their devices than to candy. So what is a parent to do?

Of the parents surveyed, about 73 percent say that they set limits on devices such as computers and gaming consoles, and 51 percent report setting limits on only their children's devices, such as laptops and tablets.

The xFi platform lets users know exactly which devices are connected to the in-home network at what times and for how long. With "Active Time Alert," parents can choose to receive a push notification, text or email alert when their child is approaching his or her device time limit. Once parents receive the alert, they can either choose to extend the time or pause the child's Wi-Fi access. Another xFi feature allows parents to either pause or stop the Wi-Fi connection to a child's device in the home anytime and to prevent devices from accessing Wi-Fi.

This survey and Comcast's new xFi feature align with recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics to prevent device use from interfering with sleep, exercise, and face-to-face family interaction.

The Wakefield Research and Comcast survey include responses from a nationally representative sample of 1,000 parents in the United States aged 18 years and older.

Xfinity xFi is available to Xfinity Internet service customers with a compatible Xfinity Gateway and is limited to the home Wi-Fi network. For more information about the Xfinity xFi platform and availability, visit


A New Perspective on Robots and How They Will Shape Humanity

In fact, according to recent Pew Research, more than 70 percent of Americans express concern about a world in which machines perform many of the tasks done by humans.

Fortunately, there are people who believe humans and robots can coexist and work together in harmony and are working to debunk many of the fears people have about them.

Mouser Electronics Inc., a leading semiconductor and electronics component distributor based in Fort Worth, TX, and celebrity engineer Grant Imahara, have teamed up again for the fourth consecutive year for their Empowering Innovation Together program.

This year's program is called Generation Robot, which features five videos filmed across the world, including in the U.S., Germany and Japan. Mouser's goal is to reach innovators around the globe by showing how robots have a positive impact on humanity and change how people see the possibility of interacting with them.

Throughout the Generation Robot series, the entire spectrum of robotics will be examined, as will the understanding of how robots not only have a technological impact on society, but also a social and moral one.

The video series begins with the Imahara visiting the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines at Georgia Tech and speaking with the executive director, Dr. Magnus Egerstedt.

There, he explores several aspects of robots, such as the basics of the machines, myths and misconceptions, as well as the hopes for, and fears of, the advancement of robot technology.

In the video, Dr. Egerstedt mentions that robots used to be about mechanical engineering, but now modern robots involve psychology, because these machines will be working along with humans and thus they need to understand people.

The second video, which takes place in Augsburg, Germany, dives into the real meaning of robots and humans working together, as well as the way this interaction will benefit society.

The third video, which comes out in mid-July, will focus on the all-robot-staffed hotel in Nagasaki, Japan, where Imahara investigates the way robots behave utilizing only artificial intelligence.

To watch all the videos and learn more about Mouser and Generation Robot, visit


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