Top Stories World 

Battle over legal marijuana: a monumental moment for states’ rights

West Hollywood is painted with rainbow flags. Known as “The Creative City,” this counterculture hub is set in rolling hills, thrumming with thrift stores, vegetarian restaurants, and, since Jan. 1, four dispensaries selling recreational cannabis. The most populous state in the union, with 39 million people, started allowing legal recreational pot sales three days before the Justice Department threatened to step up enforcement of federal prohibition.  As people waiting in a line outside West Hollywood’s MedMen brush off a rainstorm, Iain McDonald, an actor and Lyft driver from Australia, says he’s puzzled…

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Technology 

Elon Musk: So-called Valley sex party was just ‘nerds on a couch’ – CNET

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives. Sex party? What sex party? (Elon Musk is actually speaking here at an astronautical congress last fall in Australia.) Peter Parks / AFP/Getty Images It rained a lot in the San Francisco Bay Area this week and every time I saw a puddle in the road, I couldn’t help thinking about Silicon Valley’s sex parties. As related by Bloomberg TV’s Emily Chang in her forthcoming book “Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley,”…

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Top Stories World 

Why the year’s biggest tech conference is all about smart cars, not smartphones

Anyone who has driven a relatively recent-vintage vehicle has probably experienced the benefits – and occasional snags – of using voice control to plug in a destination, dial a call or change the radio station. But Nissan’s IMx concept vehicle aims to take things a step further. It uses brain-to-vehicle technology to respond to what the driver is thinking. “The potential applications of the technology are incredible,” helping motorists relax more while driving, while also improving vehicle safety, said Dr. Lucian Gheorghe, senior innovation researcher at the Nissan Research Center…

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Technology 

After outcry, CES sponsor says more women will be heard at confab – CNET

Workers inside the Las Vegas Convention Center get set for CES 2018. The confab’s sponsor has taken some heat over a lack of women keynote presenters. Getty Images The organizer of CES, one of tech’s biggest trade shows, says it’s ramping up its attempts to give women a voice at the conference, after being criticized for the lack of female keynote speakers at this year’s show. In a letter Friday to the founder of a nonprofit focused on gender diversity, the Consumer Technology Association said it was committed to changing…

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Top Stories World 

Feds’ pot policy shift could slow booming industry

America’s marijuana industry, already threading a thicket of conflicting state and federal laws, entered a new era of uncertainty this week when the Justice Department scrapped a policy that allowed pot to flourish in states that legalized it. In his memo Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions didn’t directly order a federal crackdown on pot enterprises. But it was vague enough to leave that possibility open. So while growers, sellers and their financial backers aren’t panicking, they know Sessions’ move isn’t good for business. Sessions on Thursday rescinded an Obama-era guidance…

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Science 

Boeing and Lockheed Have a New Rival in Space

No one sells more goods and services to the government than Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Boeing (NYSE: BA). These two aerospace giants are the Nos. 1 and 2 biggest contractors to the federal government, respectively — and to the Pentagon and NASA — according to a 2016 report by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). And yet, when it comes to space contracting, these two behemoths now have a new rival. No, I’m not talking about SpaceX. I’m talking about Virgin Orbit. Cosmic Girl Boeing 747 carrying a LauncherOne rocket. More VOX…

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Space 

Op-ed | Continued innovation, regulatory reform needed to further U.S. leadership in space

The commercial space sector is leading the way The United States continues to drive innovation in space, and strong, sustained government support can ensure that we maintain and accelerate that progress. Over the last two decades, novel and affordable technologies from the commercial space industry have driven innovation and advancement in the space sector. Companies big and small have contributed to the bold new frontier in ways that, not so long ago, existed only in science fiction. From reusable rocketry to in-space manufacturing, these and other breakthrough technologies have driven…

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Space 

SpaceX takes top honors in SpaceNews Awards for Excellence & Innovation

WASHINGTON — SpaceNews established the Awards for Excellence & Innovation to honor the well-known champions and the unsung heroes shaping the global space industry. We endeavored to celebrate headline-grabbing breakthroughs as well as outside-the-limelight innovations.  We made our selections after an open nomination process that concluded with a reader poll. The winners listed below were honored during an awards luncheon held Dec. 19 at the City Club of Washington. The luncheon was organized in partnership with the Washington Space Business Roundtable. A special thanks to Cobham for sponsoring this year’s SpaceNews awards.…

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Technology 

Virgin Hyperloop One names Richard Branson as chairman – CNET

Hyperloop achieved a speed test record of 240 miles per hour during its third phase of testing. Virgin Hyperloop One Virgin Hyperloop One, the startup aiming to build a high-tech, high-speed transit system, said Monday it had appointed billionaire Richard Branson as its chairman. Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, made a large investment in October in Hyperloop One, which subsequently renamed itself Virgin Hyperloop One. The Los Angeles-based company also said Monday it had raised an additional $50 million from investors Caspian Venture Capital and DP World. “The recent…

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How To 

What is Bitcoin? Here’s everything you need to know – CNET

The price of Bitcoin has gone up and to the right. Coinbase You heard about this Bitcoin thing? Every Bitcoin story must include an image of a physical Bitcoin. Note: physical Bitcoin coins do not really exist.  Science Picture Co We’re guessing: yes, you have. The first and most famous digital cryptocurrency has been racking up headlines this year due to a breathtaking rise in value — cracking the $1,000 threshold for the first time on January 1 before ascending to nearly $19,000 this month.    Bitcoin involves technology, currency,…

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