The Ultra-Laborious Way the FBI Matched Fingerprints to Paper Files

The FBI just switched over to Next-Generation Identification, a new digital system for keeping track of the 83 million fingerprint cards the bureau maintains. That means dismantling thousands of filing cabinets that were once hand-searched by Bureau employees, twenty-four hours a day. Here's how they did it. » 8/23/14 8:00pm 8/23/14 8:00pm

Use Your Web Browser As a Basic File Viewer

Do you know how many file types Chrome, Firefox, Safari et al can handle? It's probably more than you think, and if you need to quickly view a file—be it a PDF, MP3 or photo—then you can use your Web browser for the job. You don't have to wait for iTunes or Photoshop to kick into action, and you can simply close the… » 6/16/14 10:24am 6/16/14 10:24am

What's the Most Massive File on Your Hard Drive Right Now?

Cloud storage is great and all, but sometimes you've just gotta download. Sometimes, you've just gotta download something huge. Back in the days of dial-up, a couple hundred MB would take eons to bring down, but now we can play with way bigger files. What's the most massive one you have sitting on your hard drive… » 9/14/13 3:00pm 9/14/13 3:00pm

What Actually Happens to All Your Deleted Files?

We delete files all the time to free up space, or to get rid of pesky evidence, but the whole process is a lot more complicated than it seems from the outside. When you go to "delete" something, you're just pressing the start button on a much more involved, much more random process. So what actually happens to that… » 7/20/13 1:00pm 7/20/13 1:00pm

Private Records of 3.5 Million Texans Were Mistakenly Leaked by the…

Today is not a good day to be a Texan. Sure, they've got good steak, the Rangers, oil, and sharp-looking cowboy hats—but now, some 3.5 million Texans are also facing public exposure of their private records. The information includes citizens' names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and possibly dates of birth and… » 4/11/11 4:40pm 4/11/11 4:40pm

Gemalto Converges Two Things You Shouldn't: Adds DVD Track to SIM Card

Now the credit-card sized plastic thing that cellphone SIM units are shipped in can carry the cellphone's associated data files, thanks to Gemalto's DVD-SIM "Smart Video Card." In the name of convergence (and possibly environmental friendliness) the company is making the cards for the Italian operator Wind, where the… » 9/15/08 9:15am 9/15/08 9:15am