Media figures lament toxic Twitter | TheHill


High-profile journalists are saying they might leave Twitter after tweets attacking them and family members.

The latest controversy is underscoring how the popular social media platform has become toxic in the current political climate.

Source: Media figures lament toxic Twitter | TheHill

Days after Helsinki summit, Russia shows off Putin’s ‘super weapons’


It showed a Russian MiG-31 fighter jet taking off from an airfield carrying the new Kinjal hypersonic missile and then launching it while airborne.

The ministry also said it was preparing to conduct flight tests of a new nuclear-powered cruise missile, the Burevestnik or Storm Petrel.

The first footage of a live launch of the Avangard hypersonic missile, which Moscow says boasts “a glider maneuvering warhead,” was also aired along with a clip of the heavy Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile.

Source: Days after Helsinki summit, Russia shows off Putin’s ‘super weapons’

Picture this: why mental representations evolved | Aeon Ideas


Let’s say you are offered a new job in a different city, and you need to figure out whether to accept it. How are you going to do this?

This sort of situation is a fascinating conundrum of human living – and not just because of the immediate prospects for career advancement and relocation enjoyment. What makes it exciting for cognitive scientists is that, in making this decision, you mentally represent the different factors that go into it (what it is like to accept the job, what your current situation is like, and so on), and then act based on these mental representations.

Source: Picture this: why mental representations evolved | Aeon Ideas

This is what work will look like in 2100

They believe that automation will push future workers to roles and tasks that are quintessentially human, abolishing leftover vestiges of the industrial revolution–such as standardized working hours and traditional hierarchies–toward something that more resembles the tribal and community-oriented work structures of pre-industrial times.

“If you look at the way we lived nomadically early on, it was very important to be with other nomads who were good for you, helping your survive,” said Liselotte Lyngsø, founding partner of Copenhagen-based consultancy Future Navigator.

“I think we can use that as a metaphor for the way we’ll organize our work life in the future; you need to be in a tribe where you are better at getting things done together.”

Source: This is what work will look like in 2100

US sanctions on Russia could harm India. Congress is wrestling over a fix.


Passed overwhelmingly in the House and Senate last summer, CAATSA was designed both to hit Russia where it hurts most, its defense and energy businesses, and to compel the administration to act. It may be applied against any individual who “facilitates” an investment in Russia’s defense and intelligence sectors worth more than $10 million.

In April, Mattis asked lawmakers to permit special national security exemptions for U.S. allies who are buying Russian systems but intend to eventually stop, citing India, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Over the past decade, India has purchased roughly $15 billion in U.S. defense equipment. From 2008 to 2012 Russia provided 79 percent of India’s arms imports while the U.S. accounted for only 2.7 percent, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute data. Over the next five-year period, Russia’s share plunged to 62 percent, while America’s share grew more than fivefold to 15 percent.

Source: US sanctions on Russia could harm India. Congress is wrestling over a fix.

OBOR: A simple guide to understanding China’s One Belt, One Road forum for its new Silk Road | Quartz


“We have no intention to form a small group detrimental to stability,” Xi said. “What we hope to create is a big family of harmonious co-existence. ”

What the heck is it?

It’s all about building massive stuff, mostly around transport and energy: roads, bridges, gas pipelines, ports, railways, and power plants.

Proposed by Xi in 2013, the program is an estimated $5 trillion (pdf) infrastructure spending spree that spans 60-plus countries across Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa.

Source: OBOR: A simple guide to understanding China’s One Belt, One Road forum for its new Silk Road — Quartz

Revealed: The new structure for the Pentagon’s tech and acquisition offices


Pentagon leaders, already worried about the emerging technologies that will shape the next generation of war, have reorganized their leadership structure to emphasize quantum science, artificial intelligence and directed energy, Defense News has learned.

The new effort is a major restructuring for the two Pentagon offices that determine how the Department of Defense buys and develops weapon systems. Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan approved the changes in a July 13 memo, obtained by Defense News.

The 17-page document lays out the organizational charts for the offices of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment and the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, as well their responsibilities.

Source: Revealed: The new structure for the Pentagon’s tech and acquisition offices

General Electric’s power unit faces threat in Saudi Arabia | Reuters


State-controlled Saudi Electricity Co 5110.SE (SEC) has qualified at least two companies – Power Systems Mfg LLC and Combustion Parts Inc – to provide service or parts for some of SEC’s more than 50 GE-made F-class turbines, and is in talks with two others over investments to set up facilities to service the SEC plants over many years, according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

The qualifications for the first time puts SEC in position to break GE’s hold on that work by having others bid against GE on maintaining the F-Class fleet – among the largest owned by a single entity and among the most lucrative service portfolios in the industry – when the existing contracts come up, according to the sources and industry databases.

The utility is in the process of getting other companies involved in bidding for power plant services, rather than relying on GE as the sole provider, because qualifying competitors will lower prices, the source said.

Source: Exclusive: General Electric’s power unit faces threat in Saudi Arabia | Reuters

Starbucks and McDonald’s team up to rethink cups


When it comes to the cup that coffee comes in, they’re now on the same team. McDonald’s and Starbucks are joining forces to build a fully recyclable, compostable cup of the future within the next three years–one that may include not just the cup itself, but a lid and straw to go along with it.

The news comes on the heels of a food industry charge to reduce plastic in packaging, and straws in particular, by Chipotle, Subway, and Burger King, too.

Source: Exclusive: Starbucks and McDonald’s team up to rethink cups

The AI revolution will be led by toasters, not droids | Aeon Ideas

We’re not used to thinking there’s such a huge gap between an algorithm that does one thing well, and an algorithm that does lots of things well.

But our present-day algorithms have very limited mental power compared with the human brain, and each new task spreads them thinner.

Think of a toaster-sized appliance: it’s easy to build in a couple of slots and some heating coils so it can toast bread. But that leaves little room for anything else. If you try to also add rice-steaming and ice-cream-making functionality, then you’ll have to give up one of the bread slots at least, and it probably won’t be good at anything.

Source: The AI revolution will be led by toasters, not droids | Aeon Ideas