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Hiring: The First Librarian of Congress for the Internet Age

June 21, 2015 In a month or six, the United States will get its first new Librarian of Congress in nearly three decades. The current librarian, James Billington, has held the title since his appointment by President Reagan in 1987. Though named by the president and confirmed by the Senate, the Librarian doesn’t...

Elon Musk Is Building a Hyperloop Test Track in California

June 15, 2015 Nearly two years ago, Elon Musk unveiled a blueprint for the Hyperloop: a fantastical, futuristic train that would link San Francisco and Los Angeles by means, essentially, of a giant tube. If the system worked, he said, four or five riders could whisk along the 350-mile long track in half...

from govexec

The Best Pages on Some Campaign Websites are the Ones That Are Not There

May 27, 2015 The only unimpeachably good things to emerge from the 2016 presidential election so far have been the 404 pages of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. I’ll back that up, but some context first: When a visitor follows a broken link, or a server can’t find a certain webpage, that server...

Long-Range Iris Scanning Is Here

May 13, 2015 An officer pulls someone over on the side of the highway. The cop sits in the car a moment, runs the plates—they’re fine—and gets out of the car. As he or she approach the driver’s side window, the driver pulls out a gun, shoots the officer, and flees. This is...

ACLU App Gives Citizens Some Backup Tech Support

May 6, 2015 Last month, video footage emerged that appeared to show something illegal: A U.S. marshal approached a woman who was filming him on duty, snatched her smartphone, and smashed it on the ground. That incident only became news because someone else was filming the encounter. But not every bystander filming a...

The Internet Mapmakers Helping Nepal

May 4, 2015 The night after the earthquake hit Nepal, people feared to sleep in their homes, worrying about powerful aftershocks toppling the few buildings left standing. They slept instead in tents, in the street or in city parks. Meanwhile, it rained and rained. The storm soaked people’s possessions and chilled those without...

The Big Money in Police Body Cameras

May 1, 2015 Body cameras are a tool of citizen surveillance and of public accountability. They’re endorsed by police reformists and police chiefs, and, above all, by the White House, which has pledged $75 million toward nationwide adoption of police-worn cameras. But they’re something else, too: a business. And, on Thursday, we got...

'Thank God for Cellphone Video Cameras'

April 29, 2015 On Monday night, William Murphy, Jr., held a press conference in a West Baltimore church. Murphy is a long-time Baltimore lawyer—he cameoed as himself on The Wire—and he is now the attorney to the family of Freddie Gray. Gray sustained fatal injuries this month under mysterious circumstances in the back...

What Good Is a Video You Can't See?

April 27, 2015 Soon, thousand of police officers across the country will don body-worn cameras when they go out among the public. Those cameras will generate millions of hours of footage—intimate views of commuters receiving speeding tickets, teens getting arrested for marijuana possession, and assault victims at some of the worst moments of...

What Good Is a Police Video You Can't See?

April 26, 2015 Soon, thousand of police officers across the country will don body-worn cameras when they go out among the public. Those cameras will generate millions of hours of footage—intimate views of commuters receiving speeding tickets, teens getting arrested for marijuana possession, and assault victims at some of the worst moments of...