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Why Google Dominates the Self-Driving Car Market

March 10, 2016 No company has the self-driving car arena cornered like Google. For one thing, Google has been at this for a while. Its self-driving car project launched in 2009, and the company is savvy about sharing its work with the public. They’ve been unusually transparent (up to a point)—releasing monthly accident...

Can You Trust a Robot?

March 10, 2016 People are generally pretty terrible at predicting the future. We never found elephants on the moon, or invented working mind-reading machines, or figured out how to use telephones to commune with the dead. But we do have robots! Ancient automata notwithstanding, the modern robot came straight out of the annals...

from govexec

The Art of Ignoring Things

March 8, 2016 Let’s begin with a little experiment: Whatever you do, as you’re reading this short article, don’t think about polar bears. This is, you may have recognized, a classic thought exercise from the writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky. In Winter Notes on Summer Impressions, in a passage that launched a thousand psychology theses,...

Remembering Raymond Tomlinson, the Father of Email

March 7, 2016 Raymond Tomlinson, the man who is widely credited with having sent the first email, died on Saturday. He was 74 years old. Tomlinson was a principal scientist at BBN Technologies, one of the research arms of Raytheon, which sent me this statement on Monday: It is with great sadness we...

Can Google’s Driverless Car Project Survive a Fatal Accident?

March 1, 2016 Everybody knew this day would come. After several years and more than 1.4 million miles of test driving, Google’s perfect streak came to an end. In all that time, the tech giant’s self-driving cars had been in fewer than two dozen minor accidents, none of which were caused by the...

Who Spends the Most Time Online?

February 22, 2016 All over the world, the people who spend the most time online tend to be young, educated, and wealthy. Yet even among older people who have lower incomes and less education, smartphone adoption and Internet usage continues to climb dramatically. Those were some of the big takeaways from a new...

from govexec

What the First Presidential Campaign Websites Looked Like

February 19, 2016 One of the strange delights of the ephemeral web is that some sites, against all reason, seem never to die. Take, for instance, the Dole/Kemp campaign website from 1996. It’s still there, in all of its dot-com-era glory. There are the links to speeches, interactive games, and information about Dole’s...

What Makes People Actually Respond to Your Emails

February 14, 2016 OK, here’s a little test. See if you can decide which email is most likely to elicit a response: 1. Hey, I was thinking about you earlier. Do you want to get pizza? 2. Hey, I’d definitely like to get together next week. Do you want to get pizza? 3....

from govexec

How to Write the Perfect Email

February 12, 2016 Okay, here’s a little test. See if you can decide which email is most likely to elicit a response: 1. Hey, I was thinking about you earlier. Do you want to get pizza? 2. Hey, I’d definitely like to get together next week. Do you want to get pizza? 3....

NASA's New Posters and the Retro Travel Ads That Inspired Them

February 12, 2016 NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is out with a new collection of dazzling, retro-inspired tourism posters. They’re colorful odes to other worlds, designed in the spirit of WPA-era travel posters from the 1930s. They’re also, by nature of their design inspiration, a roundabout way of celebrating the strange beauty of Earth—a...