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A Threat Bigger Than Zika

July 18, 2016 For months, members of Congress have been at odds over how much money the United States ought to spend on fighting the Zika virus. The World Health Organization declared Zika a global emergency back in early February, around the time the Obama Administration asked Congress for $1.9 billion in emergency...

The Blinking Jewel in Boston’s Skyline

July 14, 2016 The Citgo sign almost didn’t make it. Three decades ago, the Boston icon was nearly torn down. It seemed its time had simply passed. The jumbo, neon billboard, long a pulsating glow above Kenmore Square, had remained darkened for several years by the energy crisis. Twin signs in several cities...

What Comes After the Touch Screen?

July 11, 2016 A computer keyboard, at its most reliable, is barely noticeable to the person using it. It is designed to be felt, heard and mostly ignored. Once you’re comfortable with the thing, you usually aren’t focused on the keys you’re pressing, or the gentle clack-clacking sound those keys makes. Instead, you’re...

The Hazard of Tesla’s Approach to Driverless Cars

July 5, 2016 In the aftermath of a fatal crash that killed the driver of a Tesla Model S using a new feature called Autopilot, much of the focus has been on the driver. It’s not known whether he was speeding—or perhaps even watching a movie—at the time of the collision, as some...

from govexec

Juno’s Triumphant Night

July 5, 2016 Scientists and space enthusiasts celebrated late Monday night as the spacecraft Juno successfully entered Jupiter’s orbit after five years and 1.7 billion miles of space travel. “We just did the hardest thing NASA’s ever done,” Rick Nybakken, Juno’s project manager, could be heard telling his colleagues amid cheers in the...

A Tesla Fatality and the Future of Self-Driving Cars

July 1, 2016 Federal officials are investigating a crash that killed the driver of a Model S, a Tesla vehicle with a partially autonomous driving system, in a move that has major implications for the future of driverless vehicles. “This is the first known fatality in just over 130 million miles where Autopilot...

The Ultimate Facial-Recognition Algorithm

June 28, 2016 Human memory is notoriously unreliable. Even people with the sharpest facial-recognition skills can only remember so much. It’s tough to quantify how good a person is at remembering. No one really knows how many different faces someone can recall, for example, but various estimates tend to hover in the thousands—based...

Sending an Armored Tank to Outer Space

June 27, 2016 Jupiter is not to be trifled with. The gargantuan planet is a gas giant, a term that makes it sound far gentler than it actually is. In fact, Jupiter is severe and volatile. Its famous Great Red Spot is a violent anticyclone three times the size of Earth that has...

from govexec

Juno: NASA's Sturdy, Sophisticated, History-Making Spacecraft

June 27, 2016 Jupiter is not to be trifled with. The gargantuan planet is a gas giant, a term that makes it sound far gentler than it actually is. In fact, Jupiter is severe and volatile. Its famous Great Red Spot is a violent anticyclone three times the size of Earth that has...

Things People Googled After Britain Voted to Leave the EU

June 25, 2016 By dawn in London Friday morning, it was clear that the people of Britain had voted to leave the European Union. As people awoke to this stunning news, many of them did what you may have done, too: They googled. This chart shows a sharp rise in searches for information...