Your 7-year fear of Americans legally getting to make in-flight calls has come to an end

The next time you get on a plane, you’ll probably have plenty of new things to worry about, but having to listen to people talking on the phone won’t be one. Way back in 2013, the FCC announced that it would be considering removing a ban on passengers making phone calls once the plane was above 10,000 feet. The proposal was unpopular even within the FCC, with then-Chairman Tom Wheeler saying he would prefer people not be allowed to make calls on a plane.

The FCC originally announced that it would be considering the proposal on December 12 (of 2013), but it took until today to reach a verdict (via Boing Boing): no. The decision cites “strong opposition,” especially among pilots and flight attendants, claiming that the proposal “[failed] to address significant safety and national security concerns.”

There are also concerns that the proposal would make flights less

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Bill Gates calls for creation of National Institutes of Energy Innovation to better address climate change

Wind power in Washington state. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

In the midst of one global disaster, Bill Gates is thinking about how to prevent the next. And while the world clearly wasn’t prepared to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Microsoft co-founder thinks there is one solution that could help address climate change.

In a new GatesNotes blog post on Thursday, the Microsoft co-founder is calling for a better national way to evaluate and nurture great ideas around clean energy research. Specifically, Gates would like to see the federal government create the National Institutes of Energy Innovation.

“This the most important thing the U.S. can do to lead the world in innovations that will solve climate change,” Gates said.

Rather than having research and ideas spread across departments such as Energy, Transportation, Defense and even NASA, Gates said the idea would follow the successful model demonstrated by the National

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Ladakh LG calls for greater use of science and technology for local development : The Tribune India

Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 28

The Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, RK Mathur, on Saturday stressed upon the greater use of science and technology for the socio-economic development of the cold and arid region of the country.

Speaking online at the curtain raiser event of India International Science Festival—2000 (IISF) at the Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) in Leh, he said that the utility of science and technology in Ladakh is extremely relevant and imminent for the population to sustain and adapt to the prevailing harsh environmental conditions.

Briefing the audience about the importance and relevance of observing the science festival, he urged all the stakeholders to promote and enable science and technology to reach every remote location of the country.

Elaborating upon the importance of utilizing science and technology to make a better and sustainable world, DIHAR Director, Dr OP Chaurasia, highlighted the development and dissemination of

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FCC Maintains Ban on Mobile Phone Voice Calls During Flights

(Bloomberg) — The U.S. Federal Communications Commission killed a proposal to allow in-flight voice calls via mobile phones, ending its examination of an idea that evoked fears of air rage from passengers trapped beside jabbering seat mates.



a close up of a bicycle: Passenger seats are seen in the cabin of a grounded Lion Air Boeing Co. 737 Max 8 aircraft at terminal 1 of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Cenkareng, Indonesia, on Tuesday, March 15, 2019. Sunday’s loss of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737, in which 157 people died, bore similarities to the Oct. 29 crash of another Boeing 737 Max plane, operated by Indonesia’s Lion Air, stoking concern that a feature meant to make the upgraded Max safer than earlier planes has actually made it harder to fly.


© Bloomberg
Passenger seats are seen in the cabin of a grounded Lion Air Boeing Co. 737 Max 8 aircraft at terminal 1 of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Cenkareng, Indonesia, on Tuesday, March 15, 2019. Sunday’s loss of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737, in which 157 people died, bore similarities to the Oct. 29 crash of another Boeing 737 Max plane, operated by Indonesia’s Lion Air, stoking concern that a feature meant to make the upgraded Max safer than earlier planes has actually made it harder to fly.

The idea drew “strong opposition” from pilots and flight attendants, the agency said Friday in a four-paragraph order.

The FCC in 2013 proposed allowing mobile

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China calls launch a success as robotic spacecraft heads to moon

WENCHANG, China (Reuters) – China hailed as a success its pre-dawn launch on Tuesday of a robotic spacecraft to bring back rocks from the moon in the first bid by any country to retrieve lunar surface samples since the 1970s, a mission underscoring Chinese ambitions in space.

The Long March-5 Y5 rocket, carrying the Chang’e-5 lunar probe, takes off from Wenchang Space Launch Center, in Wenchang, Hainan province, China November 24, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

The Long March-5, China’s largest carrier rocket, blasted off at 4:30 a.m. Beijing time (2030 GMT on Monday) in a launch from Wenchang Space Launch Center on the southern Chinese island of Hainan carrying the Chang’e-5 spacecraft.

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) called the launch a success and said in a statement that the rocket flew for nearly 37 minutes before sending the spacecraft on its intended trajectory.

The Chang’e-5 mission, named after the ancient

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Xi Jinping calls for ‘global internet’ despite censorship at home

Nov. 23 (UPI) — China wants to build a common cyberspace community with the outside world, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said during a conference that promotes the export of China’s model of a highly regulated internet.

Xi, who delivered his statement in a letter read at the 7th World Internet Conference in Wuzhen on Monday, said Beijing is ready to “cooperate” on building a shared Internet infrastructure, the South China Morning Post and China’s CGTN reported.

“Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, telemedicine, online education and telecommunication have been widely used and the internet has played an important role in promoting economic recovery,” Xi said.

“China is ready to work with other countries to grasp the information revolution, foster new driving forces for digital development and open up new prospects for digital cooperation.”

China has hosted the annual conference since 2014 to raise its profile on the world stage.

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Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), (MPNGF) – Alibaba CEO Calls China’s New Fintech Regulations ‘Timely And Necessary’ After Ant IPO Ax

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA) CEO Daniel Zhang said that Beijing’s draft rules to prevent monopolistic behavior by China’s internet platforms are “timely and necessary,” Reuters reported Monday (Beijing time)

What Happened: Zhang, speaking at the World Internet Conference held in Wuzhen, China, said that the country’s regulations need a shakeup. 

The Chinese internet industry’s “development and government supervision is a relationship that promotes and relies on each other, so that platform enterprises cannot only develop well themselves, but also serve the sustainable and healthy development of the whole society,” the Alibaba CEO said.

The annual conference takes place on Nov. 23 and Nov. 24 and is organized by the Cyberspace Administration of China, the country’s internet watchdog and censor.   

China’s internet giants such as Tencent Holdings Limited (OTC: TCEHY), Alibaba, and Meituan (OTC: MPNGF) are reportedly under greater government scrutiny. 

Why It Matters: The draft rules, published Nov.

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A leading AI researcher calls for standards to ensure equity and fairness

A top researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Thursday said that artificial intelligence systems developed for medicine must be more transparent and judged against a set of common standards to ensure fairness and equity.

“It’s really important, whenever we are developing these models, to train them on diverse populations and report their accuracy, slicing and dicing for different subpopulations,” Regina Barzilay, a professor of engineering and computer science at MIT, said Thursday at the STAT Summit. “It’s very easy with these models, if they’re trained on one population and then applied on another…to provide inequitable care.”

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Cogito raises $25 million to analyze phone calls with AI

Boston-based call analytics startup Cogito today closed a $25 million convertible debt round led by Goldman Sachs Growth Equity, Salesforce Ventures, and other new and existing investors. The company says this latest capital will be used to expand its go-to-market efforts and accelerate the development of new products.

Algorithm-driven call center platforms promise unprecedented insight into the performance of customer support agents. That’s particularly valuable in the midst of the pandemic, when historic call volume and physical distancing precautions make the need for triaging more acute. In March, as call center workers in the Philippines began to social distance, hold times for U.S.-based companies like TD Bank, Delta, and American Express increased dramatically.

Cogito, which was cofounded by MIT computer scientist Alex Pentland, develops software that performs emotional and sentiment analysis on call center conversations using natural language processing. It measures energy level, pace, tone of speech, and other factors

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