Labor unions are pushing for a four-day workweek – Vox

Americans once worked 100 hours a week, six days in a row. Then, in 1940, came the five-day workweek.

Now labor unions are making the case for even less work: dropping days worked down to four.

That’s one of the changes unions are proposing as part of their vision for the future of work, which is outlined in a report to be released Friday by the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of labor unions in the US. (Disclosure: I am a member of the Writers Guild of America East, which is part of the AFL-CIO.) The report, which was shared in advance with Vox, focuses on finding ways to make sure workers can best benefit from automation and other technological changes.

As technology makes workers more productive, unions argue, why not give them three-day weekends? Not 40 hours compressed into four days. Labor unions are proposing a 32-hour workweek, with employees earning no less than they did before.

Source: Labor unions are pushing for a four-day workweek – Vox

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See How AI Stereotypes You

Computers think they know who you are. Artificial intelligence algorithms can recognize objects from images, even faces. But we rarely get a peek under the hood of facial recognition algorithms. Now, with ImageNet Roulette, we can watch an AI jump to conclusions. Some of its guesses are funny, others…racist.

ImageNet Roulette was designed as part of an art and technology museum exhibit called Training Humans to show us the messy insides of the facial recognition algorithms that we might otherwise assume are straightforward and unbiased. It uses data from one of the large, standard databases used in AI research. Upload a photo, and the algorithm will show you what it thinks you are. My first selfie was labeled “nonsmoker.” Another was just labeled “face.” Our editor-in-chief was labeled a “psycholinguist.”

Source: See How AI Stereotypes You

Nuclear Propulsion Could Be ‘Game-Changer’ for Space Exploration, NASA Chief Says | Space

And the tech could power asteroid-deflecting lasers as well.

Spacecraft powered by such engines could conceivably reach Mars in just three to four months — about half the time of the fastest possible trip in a vehicle with traditional chemical propulsion, said Rex Geveden, the president and CEO of BWX Technologies Inc.

Source: Nuclear Propulsion Could Be ‘Game-Changer’ for Space Exploration, NASA Chief Says | Space

Toyota recalls 14,200 RAV4 SUVs over faulty backup camera – Roadshow

When the driver puts the vehicle in reverse, the backup camera may not flick on as it should.

According to the NHTSA documents filed earlier this month, 14,215 RAV4 models are subject to the recall but Toyota estimates fewer than 1% of the models have the actual defect. Affected RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid models were made between May 27, 2019, and July 27, 2019.

The automaker traced the backup camera issue to a damaged electrical connector. During a part check, one of the pins on the audio display unit may have bent in a way that affects the backup camera. When the driver selects the reverse gear, the backup camera may not activate and display on the interior touchscreen as it’s supposed to.

Source: Toyota recalls 14,200 RAV4 SUVs over faulty backup camera – Roadshow

Rocket Lab will reuse its rockets by catching them with a helicopter

SpaceX won’t be the only company reusing its rockets for payload deliveries. Rocket Lab has unveiled plans to recover the first stage of its Electron vehicle. The strategy’s first phase will have Rocket Lab recovering the stage from the ocean and refurbishing it for later. A second phase will be more… audacious. The company intends to have the stage “captured mid-air” by a helicopter, with the aircraft hooking on to the rocket’s parachute array during the descent. It won’t be as elegant as SpaceX’s rocket landings, but it will be efficient if it works as planned.

Source: Rocket Lab will reuse its rockets by catching them with a helicopter

 

Fernando Corbató, a Father of Your Computer (and Your Password), Dies at 93 – New York Times

 

Fernando Corbató at M.I.T.’s computer lab in an undated photo. His computer time-sharing system developed there paved the way for the personal computer.
CreditMIT CSAIL

By Katie Hafner

Fernando Corbató, whose work on computer time-sharing in the 1960s helped pave the way for the personal computer, as well as the computer password, died on Friday at a nursing home in Newburyport, Mass. He was 93.

His wife, Emily Corbató, said the cause was complications of diabetes. At his death he was a professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Corbató, who spent his entire career at M.I.T., oversaw a project in the early 1960s called the Compatible Time-Sharing System, or C.T.S.S., which allowed multiple users in different locations to access a single computer simultaneously through telephone lines.

At the time, computing was done in large batches, and users typically had to wait until the next day to get the results of a computation.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/12/science/fernando-corbato-dead.html

Power restored after NYC transformer fire causes blackout in part of Manhattan, officials say | Fox News

Power was slowly being restored to thousands of customers in New York City Saturday evening after an outage that knocked out traffic lights, stalled elevators and limited subway service.

Just before midnight, Con Edison CEO John McAvoy said in a news conference that all 73,000 customers affected by the outage in Midtown Manhattan and the Upper West Side had power restored. At its peak, the outage affected an area from 71st Street south to 42nd Street and east from the West Side Highway to Fifth Avenue.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo added that although service was restored some traffic lights remained out and New Yorkers should stay indoors for their safety.

Source: Power restored after NYC transformer fire causes blackout in part of Manhattan, officials say | Fox News

Why The US Has No High-Speed Rail – YouTube

 

China has the world’s fastest and largest high-speed rail network — more than 19,000 miles, the vast majority of which was built in the past decade. Japan’s bullet trains can reach nearly 200 miles per hour and date to the 1960s. They have moved more than 9 billion people without a single passenger causality. casualty France began service of the high-speed TGV train in 1981 and the rest of Europe quickly followed. But the U.S. has no true high-speed trains, aside from sections of Amtrak’s Acela line in the Northeast Corridor. The Acela can reach 150 mph for only 34 miles of its 457-mile span. Its average speed between New York and Boston is about 65 mph. California’s high-speed rail system is under construction, but whether it will ever get completed as intended is uncertain. Watch the video to see why the U.S. continues to fail with high-speed trains, and some companies that are trying to fix that. » Subscribe to CNBC: http://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC » Subscribe to CNBC TV: http://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCtelevision » Subscribe to CNBC Classic: http://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCclassic

Breaking record for deepest dive, explorer says Pacific’s Mariana Trench ‘incredibly peaceful place’ | Fox News

Victor Vescovo took the journey to what is believed to be the deepest point mankind has visited in any ocean — finding shocking things from new species to human trash — and told Fox News on Tuesday that the discovery of plastic in such far reaches proves the need for more vigilance to protect the oceans.

Source: Breaking record for deepest dive, explorer says Pacific’s Mariana Trench ‘incredibly peaceful place’ | Fox News