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Could Facebook Have Caught Its 'Jew Hater' Ad Targeting?

September 15, 2017 Facebook lives and dies by its algorithms. They decide the order of posts in your News Feed, the ads you see when you open the app, and which which news topics are trending. Algorithms make its vast platform possible, and Facebook can often seem to trust them completely—or at least...

from govexec

How the National Weather Service Prepares for the Worst

September 12, 2017 COLLEGE PARK, Md.—“I woke up Friday night with a dream that it had missed the peninsula,” said Bill Lapenta, the director of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction. We sat looking at a screen that showed Hurricane Irma’s long journey across the Atlantic Ocean. Another monitor showed a live satellite...

from govexec

Hurricane Irma: 'We've Never Seen a Storm This Strong'

September 10, 2017 This story was updated at 12:14 p.m. Take it from the hurricane historian: There has never been a tropical cyclone quite like Irma. “You’ve had storms this strong,” said Phil Klotzbach, a meteorologist at Colorado State University who specializes in the history of Atlantic tropical cyclones. “But the thing that...

To Soften a Hurricane's Blow, Don't Drain the Swamp

September 4, 2017 If a hurricane-addled storm surge is barreling toward your coastline, there aren’t many ways to stop it. There are no ocean-sized sump pumps. Giant, Squarepants-style coastal sponges don’t exist either. Except they kind of do. Wetlands and marshes—the water-permeated thickets of grass and muck that sit on the edge of...

from govexec

Did Climate Change Intensify Hurricane Harvey?

August 28, 2017 Every so often, the worst-case scenario comes to pass. As of Sunday afternoon, the remnants of Hurricane Harvey seem likely to exceed the worst forecasts that preceded the storm. The entire Houston metropolitan region is flooding: Interstates are under feet of water, local authorities have asked boat owners to join...

from govexec

What Kind of Monuments Does President Trump Value?

August 18, 2017 On Thursday morning, President Donald Trump announced his unequivocal support for preserving statues of Confederate generals and leaders, moving a step past his previous statements that the fate of the statues should be left to cities and states. In full, his tweets read: “Sad to see the history and culture...

Can the U.S. Government Seize an Anti-Trump Website's Visitor Logs?

August 15, 2017 Suppose you were to click on this link: This one, right here. It will take you to the website of Disrupt J20, which organized some of the “direct action” protests on the day of President Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington, D.C. The site contains general information about civil disobedience and...

from govexec

Can the U.S. Government Seize an Anti-Trump Website's Visitor Logs?

August 15, 2017 Suppose you were to click on this link: This one, right here. It will take you to the website of Disrupt J20, which organized some of the “direct action” protests on the day of President Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington, D.C. The site contains general information about civil disobedience and...

Why an Anti-Fascist Short Film Is Going Viral

August 14, 2017 How should Americans fight against a resurgent white-nationalist movement in the United States? This weekend, they returned to an artifact from an earlier era of anti-Nazism. Tens of thousands of people rediscovered—and promptly shared and retweeted—a clip from "Don’t Be a Sucker," a short propaganda film made by the U.S....

2016 Was Hot, Weird, and Unprecedented, Says NOAA

August 11, 2017 2016 was a stormy, sweltering, and altogether exceptional year for Earth’s climate system, breaking dozens of records across every type of environment before ultimately ranking as the hottest year ever measured, according to a new report from the U.S. government released on Thursday. This finding did not come as a...