On Wednesday, Axon (formerly “Taser”) announced its offer to outfit every cop in the US with a free body camera, with rollout beginning as soon as the end of the month. About 20% of police departments use body cameras. The overwhelmingly majority of all police departments have no policies about how best to use the…
While the tension between state and federal laws has created a difficult situation for cannabis users, there’s another factor that is complicating the changing attitude towards weed: hospitals. Though it isn’t legally mandated, many hospitals won’t allow people who use weed to be placed on organ transplant waiting…
Better double check that tap water—today, President Trump signed an executive order aimed at reworking Obama-era protections of clean water. The order asks for a revision of the 2015 Water of the US Act, a move likely to thrill Trump’s supporters in the fossil fuel industry and big agriculture, and confuse just about…
Patricia Kim, a History of Art PhD candidate studying Hellenistic Greece at the University of Pennsylvania, is the first to admit she’s probably not what comes to mind when you imagine an academic researcher scrambling to archive federal climate data that might be erased by the Trump administration. But for Kim,…
For the second time this month and the third time over the past year, President Obama has penned a policy commentary in a leading scientific journal. This time, he’s not defending his signature health care law, but rather, making the case that a clean energy future is inevitable—no matter what Trump does.
Last night, against all odds, Donald J. Trump was elected president of the United States. The real estate mogul and reality TV star, who has said he would ban all Muslims from entering the country and once bragged about sexually assaulting women, will now take the reins of the country at a precarious time.
Good news, Earthlings: the Paris climate agreement had passed a critical milestone toward adoption. At a UN General Assembly meeting in New York this morning, 31 nations officially signed onto the accord, making it very likely that the deal will enter legal force this year.
The leaders controlling the US surveillance apparatus can’t agree on encryption. FBI Director Comey has hysterically characterized it as a safe haven for evil-doers. A high-ranking Department of Justice official insisted that encryption could cause a child to die. Meanwhile, the National Security Agency’s leaders are…
The historic Paris climate talks have reached their eleventh hour, and world leaders are scrambling to put the finishing—but very important—touches on the accord that could save our planet from apocalyptic climate change.
Uber has long insisted that it’s simply a tech company, not a driving service—and new legislation supports that narrow definition of its growing corporate empire. Guess which company helped draft the legislation. Guess. Guess. Guess. Guess. Guess.
At midnight on Saturday, the National Security Agency ended one of its most notorious spying programs. This is only a tiny victory. The NSA’s sprawling, inefficient surveillance apparatus is still a privacy threat.
We’re all too familiar with the dangers posed by earthquakes, droughts, and hurricanes. But there’s another natural phenomena that represents a growing threat to our tech-driven society, and that’s space weather. And at long last, the US government seems to be taking the issue seriously.
Your Senator probably just did something dumb. Yes, I realize I have to be more specific than that: The Senate passed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) yesterday with a 74-21 vote.
My job depends on the internet. Yours probably does too. But for such a vital technology, the US doesn’t have a solid way to expand its internet infrastructure. Now, a pair of congresspeople—one a Democrat and one a Republican—are proposing a new way to ensure the web’s health.
When Oklahoma declared a “war on obesity,” it planned to change the city’s infrastructure and encourage healthy living at a huge scale. So far its population has lost a million pounds of fat—but is that enough to defeat obesity?
In June of 1994, a convicted child molester named Charlie Taylor moved into a small apartment in downtown Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, across the street from a community center. He had no family. He had no parole officer. At the time, sex offenders deemed too dangerous to be let out of prison early were, paradoxically,…
Launching a shitty crowdfunding campaign just got riskier. For the first time, a Kickstarter campaign has been ordered to pay for failing to fulfill promises to its backers.
Privacy took a blow last week when the NSA got permission to keep operating a massive dragnet. Here’s some better news: As of today, federal agents should have a harder time using Stingrays to spy on cell phones.
Here’s proof that the government blind-bumbles its way through tech problems like some hydra-headed bureaucratic Mr. Magoo: The Army thought a legitimate email of warning from another agency was also from hackers—and ended up leaving people affected by the hack in the dark because of its mistake.
“Today, high speed broadband is not a luxury, it’s a necessity,” President Obama said earlier this year. Yet home internet access is still an extravagance out of reach for many Americans. Today, the White House announced a program designed to change that.