China Moves to Surpass US in Economics, Technology, Diplomacy and Military, Report Says

China is poised to overtake the United States in key economic and security areas, a development that could forever change the dynamic between the world’s two premier powers, according to a report released Tuesday by a congressionally mandated commission.

a close up of a flag: Chinese staff adjust U.S. and Chinese flags before the opening session of trade negotiations between U.S. and Chinese trade representatives at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on February 14, 2019. The world's top two economies managed to cool their trade war with a phase-one agreement at the beginning of this year but escalating tensions sparked in part by the COVID-19 pandemic brought Washington-Beijing ties to an all-time low in the modern era.

Chinese staff adjust U.S. and Chinese flags before the opening session of trade negotiations between U.S. and Chinese trade representatives at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on February 14, 2019. The world’s top two economies managed to cool their trade war with a phase-one agreement at the beginning of this year but escalating tensions sparked in part by the COVID-19 pandemic brought Washington-Beijing ties to an all-time low in the modern era.

The United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission, founded two decades ago to mark the beginning of “The American Century,” produces an annual report to Congress, detailing challenges to the bilateral ties between the

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IRS Moves to Speed Up Contracting Through New Procurement Research Partnership

The Internal Revenue Service recently set sights on introducing new technology-driven capabilities and applying innovative data science techniques to improve and elevate its procurement operations.

And last week, the agency launched a research partnership valued at almost $1 million that marks a deliberate move in that direction.

Through the newly unveiled collaboration, agency officials, university professors and students equipped with procurement and machine learning experience, and members of Virginia-based small business Data and Analytic Solutions will form a multidisciplinary team intended to accelerate the IRS’ contracting and award processes. It emerges as federal buying largely remains notoriously slow.

“When it comes to contracting, everyone seems to want it faster, cheaper, and better,” IRS Chief Procurement Officer Shanna Webbers told Nextgov over email Tuesday. “We recognized that we cannot continue to do business as usual and expect a different result.”

With that view top of mind, Webbers’ office earlier this year

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Tech elites are making moves out of San Francisco as they rethink the area’s costs, political climate, and safety

Hello everyone! Welcome to this weekly roundup of Business Insider stories from co-Editor in Chief Matt Turner. Subscribe here to get this newsletter in your inbox every Sunday.

Read on for more on the future of Silicon Valley, a private-equity titan’s relationship with a Texas investor embroiled in a political scandal, and the rise and fall of the world’s oldest advertising agency.

map: Samantha Lee/Business Insider

© Samantha Lee/Business Insider
Samantha Lee/Business Insider



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Tony Hsieh, the former CEO of shoes and clothes retailer Zappos, has died at age 46 following injuries sustained in a fire. 

Hsieh (pronounced shay) retired from Zappos in August after 20 years with the company, staying on long after he sold the company to Amazon for $1.2 billion in 2009. He was widely known for his efforts to regenerate the downtown Las Vegas area, and for his commitment to holacracy, a manager-free operating structure. 

Zappos’ current CEO,

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American Steel moves into the future with robots, Amazon deal | Local News

It allows American Steel to ground itself in tried-and-true steel fabrication techniques while pulling in technology that’s been tested in larger centers of industry. Lewis calls it a type of cross pollination that allows both realms to share ideas. 

The shop at American Steel is a warehouse-sized space that includes traditional metal fabrication tools like hand welders and metal-cutting saws, and newer technologies like robotic welders and plasma cutters.

American Steel Robots

American Steel President Dave Lewis looks up at his company’s automated plasma coper, nicknamed “Rosie,” on Nov. 18 at American Steel in Lockwood. Rosie’s function is to use plasma — effectively controlled lightning, as Lewis describes it — to cut through large steel beams.

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At the far end of the shop is a small robotic arm they’ve dubbed Ratchet. Lewis calls it the company’s tricycle, a $100,000

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Robotics researchers propose AI that locates and safely moves items on shelves

A pair of new robotics studies from Google and the University of California, Berkeley propose ways of finding occluded objects on shelves and solving “contact-rich” manipulation tasks like moving objects across a table. The UC Berkeley research introduces Lateral Access maXimal Reduction of occupancY support Area (LAX-RAY), a system that predicts a target object’s location, even when only a portion of that object is visible. As for the Google-coauthored paper, it proposes Contact-aware Online COntext Inference (COCOI), which aims to embed the dynamics properties of physical things in an easy-to-use framework.

While researchers have explored the robotics problem of searching for objects in clutter for quite some time, settings like shelves, cabinets, and closets are a less-studied area, despite their wide applicability. (For example, a service robot at a pharmacy might need to find supplies from a medical cabinet.) Contact-rich manipulation problems are just as ubiquitous in the physical world,

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Google moves into Venmo and bank territory with checking accounts and updated payment app

  • Google will let users open a bank account through its Google Pay app, in a partnership with Citi and Stanford Federal Credit Union beginning next year.
  • The tech giant is relaunching the payments app to allow people to pay friends, similar to PayPal’s popular Venmo and Square’s Cash App. 
  • “It’s going to have a broad appeal, but especially among the younger population, Gen Z, that are more tech-driven and mobile-focused,” said Anand Selva, CEO of U.S. consumer banking at Citi.

Google takes on banking, plans to compete with Square, Paypal



Google is moving deeper into consumer finance.


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The tech giant will let users open bank accounts, pay friends and manage budgets through a new version of its Google Pay app rolling out Wednesday. 

The Mountain View, California-based company partnered with Citi and Stanford Federal Credit Union to launch the mobile bank accounts and

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ExoMars parachute testing moves forward

ExoMars parachute testing moves forward
The ExoMars parachute deployment sequence that will deliver a surface platform and rover to the surface of Mars in 2021 (following launch in 2020). The graphic is not to scale, and the colours of the parachutes are for illustrative purposes only. Credit: European Space Agency

The parachute system that will help deliver the Rosalind Franklin ExoMars rover to Mars has completed the first full-scale high altitude drop test with redesigned elements following two unsuccessful tests last year. Parachute extraction and deceleration proceeded as expected, the test vehicle landed safely and the test parachutes were recovered. However, some canopy damage occurred, pointing to the early inflation process for the focus of further improvements.

“Landing on Mars is extremely difficult, with no room for error,” says ExoMars Programme Team Leader Francois Spoto. “The latest test was a good step forward but is not yet the perfect outcome we are seeking. Therefore, we

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Bungie’s DeeJ Moves To Iron Galaxy To Work On New Melee Combat Game

Veteran Bungie staffer David “DeeJ” Dague left the Destiny studio earlier this year, and now he’s landed at Iron Galaxy Studios.

The studio announced that Dague–the former communications director at Bungie–will be the head of communications for Iron Galaxy as it begins work on a new IP. Additionally, Iron Galaxy has appointed Chelsea Blakso as co-CEO alongside Adam Boyes, the former PlayStation boss.

Very little is known about Iron Galaxy’s new game, however, apart from the fact that it will be a “new multiplayer melee combat IP for consoles and PC.”

“Video games bring people together in the spirit of friendly competition,” Dague said in a statement. “This opportunity with Iron Galaxy is a chance to welcome players into a community that we will build with them. There is nothing more exciting than witnessing players discover a brand-new game and come together to define its culture. I’m thrilled to be

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Tech Moves: Microsoft’s M12 creates advisory board; former Integris CEO joins VC firm; and more

Clockwise from top left: Matthias Troyer, Saurabh Tiwary, Jocelyn Moore, Ann Johnson and Jason Warner. (M12 Photos)

— M12, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, announced a formal advisory board drawing from industry experts and past mentors. The inaugural advisory board members, all from within the Microsoft organization, include:

Distinguished Scientist Matthias Troyer

VP and Distinguished Engineer Saurabh Tiwary

Diversity and Inclusion Global Practice Leader Jocelyn Moore

CVP of Security, Compliance and Identity Ann Johnson

GitHub CTO Jason Warner

“The formation of our Advisory Board marks a new way that we can provide value as a fund: tapping best-in-class industry experts from Microsoft to help inform our investment focus and to advise our portfolio companies,” said M12 General Manager Samir Kumar, in a post announcing the new board.

Kristina Bergman. (Pender Ventures Photo)

— Former Integris CEO Kristina Bergman is now a partner at Pender Ventures,

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Candy manufacturer moves from technology chaos to data-driven operations thanks to integrated appliance

Two years ago, 50-year-old confectionary manufacturer Warrell Creations was in a legacy mess. Outdated equipment and cobbled-together processes had created an information technology nightmare, with employees unable to complete even the simplest tasks.

“When I first got here our users were complaining about not being able to print a Word document. I mean, not being able to print a document? That’s fundamental stuff,” said Clifton Dorsey (pictured), vice president of The Warrell Corp.

Dorsey spoke with Lisa Martin, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, for a digital CUBE Conversation about how Dell Technology Inc.’s integrative approach to data protection helped Warrell leave behind the dark ages of tech and take a data-driven approach to candy manufacturing. (* Disclosure below.)

Paving the way to technological confidence

Accurate data is critical for smooth operations at Warrell. Without clear lines of communication, purchasing, shipping, and the manufacturing floor are liable to

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