Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 23, 2014

Posts in "R&D"

July 18, 2014

Sizing Up the National ‘Research Enterprise’

Is the U.S. measuring its “research enterprise” well enough?

At a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing Thursday, Stephen Fienberg, a statistics and social science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, talked about some findings in a report the National Academy issued last month:

We found that current measures are inadequate to guide national decisions about what research investments will expand the benefits of science. Moreover, we noted that the U.S. lacks an institutionalized capacity for systematically evaluating the nation’s research enterprise taken as a whole and assessing its performance and developing policy options for federally-funded research.

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3D Printing in Space: There’s Much to Learn, Report Says

188124497 445x296 3D Printing in Space: Theres Much to Learn, Report Says

This 3D printer creation by Joshua Harker, shown in Paris in November, was not printed in space. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images)

Three-dimensional printing has been a hot topic lately, with Home Depot even starting to sell the machines in some stores and the National Institutes of Health maintaining an exchange for 3D printer files. What about using 3D printing in space? There are potential benefits, but we still don’t know the full scope of this technology, and its capabilities in the short-term have been exaggerated, says a new report by the National Research Council.

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July 17, 2014

Amazon, the Cloud and its Call for a Privacy Law Change

CQ Roll Call’s Kerry Young reports that Amazon has asked lawmakers to tweak federal health privacy law to allow freer data flow for research projects conducted through its cloud-services business while maintaining information security.

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Golden Goose Awards Honor Spectrum Auction Brainpower

Robert Wilson, Paul Milgrom and R. Preston McAfee will each receive Golden Goose Awards for work that led to the design of the first Federal Communications Commission spectrum auction.

The awards, offered by a group of university, research and other organizations, go to researchers whose federally-funded work has spurred big social impact.

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By Anne L. Kim Posted at 11:46 a.m.
R&D, Spectrum

July 14, 2014

Botnets, the Video Marketplace and Permanent Internet Tax Ban Bill This Week

This week, activity on the Hill includes hearings on botnets and the future of the video marketplace as well asĀ  House consideration of a permanent ban on taxing Internet access. Elsewhere in Washington, events on the IP transition, data analytics and Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference are on tap.

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July 9, 2014

Facebook News Feed Filtering: Beyond the Emotion Study

Among the flood of writing that’s emerged after news of Facebook’s controversial changing of users’ News Feeds for an emotion study involving more than 689,000 users, a number of articles point out that even the News Feeds that users see outside of such an experiment don’t fully reflect all of their friends’ activities on the site.

For example, Vox’s Nilay Patel writes that “manipulating the News Feed is Facebook’s entire business” and lays out how it works with advertising.

So, what’s the response to the idea that everything’s filtered, whether it’s for a study or not? David Weinberger, a senior researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society in his piece in CNN raises concerns about commercial objectives of entities making decisions about what people see.

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By Anne L. Kim Posted at 10:28 a.m.
Ideas, R&D, Social Media

July 2, 2014

NASA Launches Carbon Dioxode Measuring Satellite

As some of us were starting to wake up this morning, NASA launched a satellite designed to take measurements of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere in order to better understand the greenhouse gas.

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By Anne L. Kim Posted at 9:09 a.m.
R&D, Space

July 1, 2014

It’s Brookings’ Turn to Measure the STEM Workforce

The past several weeks have brought a couple of reports on STEM workers, and in the ongoing debate over whether there’s a shortage of qualified people to work in the science, tech, engineering and math fields, the Brookings Institution has weighed in.

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By Anne L. Kim Posted at 9:14 a.m.
Education, R&D

June 18, 2014

Human Anatomy, at Your Fingertips (in Plastic, of Course)

The National Institutes of Health is using White House Maker Faire day to remind the world about its new exchange for 3D printer files related to health and science — such as plans for custom lab equipment and scientific models for human anatomy and tiny organisms. The goal is to improve research, assist in repairing and enhancing lab equipment, and help pre-game medical procedures.

The 3D printer community has taken the “human anatomy” thing to the next level, of course. It’s not just about models, it’s also about fabricating actual synthetic body parts. It’s a story best told through video:

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More ‘Giraffe Cam’ Than You Can Handle From the White House Maker Faire

Above is the live video stream from the Maker Faire at the White House today. As of 10:55 a.m. it had been showing more than 20 minutes of the Giraffe Cam, which is apparently the point of view of this thing. (If you scroll back to about the 29-minute mark, you can see an interview with the makers, who are from San Diego.)

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