The complicated truth behind the empire of the United States of America

Let's celebrate the USA on July 4th! How big does the celebration go across America? Across the 50 states, duh. The 48 contiguous, Alaska and Hawaii. But what about Washington DC? And the Indian territories? Puerto Rico? Guam? The Virgin Islands? And let's not get into places you've never heard of like Johnston Atoll… » 7/03/14 8:31pm 7/03/14 8:31pm

What Would Change If Politicians Wrote Laws Based on Internet Polls?

A new political party, designed by software devs and engineers, is joining the race in California. If elected, PlaceAVote's Congressional candidates vow to decide on every bill based on the majority vote of their constituents—as measured via online polling. Could that sort of direct, digital democracy improve how… » 5/24/14 5:00pm 5/24/14 5:00pm

Animation explains why it's so important to protect net neutrality

Maybe net neutrality is just something you hear about on the news and see in headlines. Maybe it's something you don't want to bother to understand. Or maybe you know how important it is but don't know how to explain it to your friends why. This simple animation video by CGP Grey does all the explaining you need. It… » 5/05/14 8:52pm 5/05/14 8:52pm

The Pentagon Can't Keep Track of Ammo So It's Destroying $1B in Bullets

Outdated technology and government wastefulness seem to go hand in hand, but this time the two are combining for a startlingly huge money sink: the Pentagon is planning on destroying $1.2 billion in excess bullets and missiles, some of which could still be used by troops. And it's all because the military has no way… » 4/30/14 12:45pm 4/30/14 12:45pm

Switching Fonts May Not Save the Government Millions After All

We all love stories about teenagers schooling the government, but sometimes we get schooled, too. Last week, we wrote about 14-year-old Suvir Mirchandani's research project that suggested the government would save $400 million by switching from Times New Roman to Garamond. Turns out, it's a little more complicated… » 3/31/14 1:50pm 3/31/14 1:50pm

The Government Would Save $400 Million If It Just Switched Typefaces

Of the many schemes to make the government more efficient, this is probably the only one that involves typography. A middle schooler in Pittsburgh has calculated that by simply switching the typeface used in government documents from Times New Roman to Garamond, it would save taxpayers $400 million in ink. » 3/28/14 4:00pm 3/28/14 4:00pm

Huawei, Once Accused of Spying, Has Been Hacked by NSA Since 2009

Chinese electronics manufacturer Huawei decided to withdraw from U.S. business last year amid accusations that it built backdoors into American government and business systems. But while the U.S. government was publicly accusing the company of espionage, the NSA had already established its own backdoors into Huawei's… » 3/22/14 3:50pm 3/22/14 3:50pm

Angry Birds Maker: We Do Not Collaborate With Spies

The maker of Angry Birds, one of the world's most popular video games of any type, today said it "does not share data, collaborate or collude with any government spy agencies." The statement follows a report yesterday that said American and British spies have harvested data collected by the game. » 1/28/14 6:20pm 1/28/14 6:20pm

Build For Locals and Tourists Will Come: Vegas's Plan for Its Downtown

Between the Downtown Project's area and the Arts District is the new Las Vegas City Hall, a gleaming mirage of a building surrounded by a forest of photovoltaics. This is where the city leadership moved after it leased its old City Hall to Tony Hsieh's company Zappos—a move that you can't help but imbue with some… » 1/13/14 11:30am 1/13/14 11:30am