Technews Pinboard 493 – March 4, 2017

Tech CEO Space Race Intensifies – MIT Technology Review
Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Richard Branson have all announced new plans this week that could ultimately make them an extraterrestrial income.

AI continued its world domination at Mobile World Congress
These days, it might be more accurate to say that “AI is fueling the software that’s eating the world,” but I’ve never been very quotable. In any case, it’s not impossible to ignore the normalization of artificial intelligence at this year’s Mobile World Congress — even if a resurrected 17-year-old phone did end up stealing the show.

Microsoft’s AI is Learning to Write Code by Itself, Not Steal It – Nextgov.com
“We’re targeting the people who can’t or don’t want to code, but can specify what their problem is,” says Marc Brockschmidt of Microsoft Research, a co-author of the paper, likening the work to Excel formulas that could take simple commands to solve for answers without being given the mathematical equation.

Amazon Web Services Was Taken Down by a Simple Typo | NewsFactor Network
A single typo was apparently responsible for taking down a chunk of the Internet on Tuesday, Feb. 28, costing companies somwhere around $150 million. The revelation came from an online statement released by Amazon after its popular Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform was taken offline Tuesday for about four hours.

Researchers Pack Movie, Computer OS and More into a Tiny Drop of DNA | NewsFactor Network
With the help of a California startup that makes synthetic DNA, researchers Yaniv Erlich and Dina Zielinski of Columbia University and the New York Genome Center, were able to transfer a complete computer operating system, a very old movie, a $50 Amazon gift card and more into a tiny speck of DNA. That achieves a data storage density of 215 petabytes per gram. In theory, that means it would be possible to store all the information humans have ever generated into the space of a single room.

It’s Time for Uber to Grow Up – MIT Technology Review
February couldn’t end soon enough for Uber—a month in which business practices at the ride-hailing behemoth spectacularly failed to keep pace with its runaway success.

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