The UN Has Its Own Postal System And You Can Buy Its Awesome Stamps

One of the UN's many delightful eccentricities is its internal United Nations Postal Administration, which was founded in 1951 and issues stamps than can only be used within the UN—even though, intriguingly, they're hugely popular outside of it. The UN recently issued its latest batch of designs, and they're great. » 11/17/14 5:08pm 11/17/14 5:08pm

The UN's Map of Drone Strikes Was Built By Architects

It's rare to see architects working on security and human rights issues—but that's exactly what's happening right now, as a group of designers collaborate with the UN to document drone strikes in the Middle East. » 3/12/14 1:20pm 3/12/14 1:20pm

Even the U.N. Is Using Drones to Spy on People Now

The United Nations now has its own drone program. Its first unmanned aircraft took off earlier this week in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Joining some 87 countries with the capability, the organization says it's just keeping up with the world's technological advances. » 12/05/13 10:45am 12/05/13 10:45am

This Vacuum Detonator Blows Deadly Chemical Weapons to Smithereens

Disposing of the world's chemical weapon stockpiles is far easier said than done. It's not like the good old days prior to WWII when we could just dump extraneous supplies of mustard gas and other chemical weapons into the open ocean or under Delaware roadways or just big pits at the Redstone Arsenal in Alabama—no,… » 10/22/13 11:20am 10/22/13 11:20am

How Much Global Warming Will Happen Before You Kick The Bucket?

On Friday the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change put its collective foot down about global warming. It's happening and it's our fault. But as with any issue that affects all of humanity, the most important question is what's gonna happen to you? Will you have to give up air conditioning? Will the song "White… » 9/29/13 10:18am 9/29/13 10:18am

Lego United Nations HQ seems way more functional than the real one

The United Nations is gigantic bureaucracy in which different tribes fight each other for power and dollars, incidentally helping the world from time to time. But they have awesome headquarters in New York City's East River, designed by Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer. Now it's available in Lego form. » 9/26/13 6:31pm 9/26/13 6:31pm

Princeton Nuke Detector Could Spot World-Ending Warheads

The US and USSR had more than 60,000 nuclear warheads pointed at each other at the height of the Cold War. While the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1970 and START in 1994 have shrunk that figure to around 26,000, nobody is really sure how many still exist—because nobody’s ever actually verified the number of warheads,… » 4/30/13 11:30am 4/30/13 11:30am

More People Have Cell Phones Than Toilets

It's easier to put a phone in someone's hand than it is to build a proper sanitation system. According to a UN report, 6 of 7 billion people in the world have cell phones, while just 4.5 billion have access to a toilet or latrine. » 3/22/13 1:00pm 3/22/13 1:00pm

Europe Wants to Tax Internet Giants for Bandwidth Use

Facebook, Google, and Netflix are all parts of the Internet many of us consider fundamental. And now, a lobby group sponsored by prominent European telecom corporations is pushing for a bandwidth use fee which would force companies like these to pay up for their internet activity on the other side of the Atlantic. Ugh. » 6/08/12 10:33am 6/08/12 10:33am

Operation Shady Rat Is The Largest Cyber Attack Ever Uncovered

If it wasn't true before, it's definitely true now. Hacking isn't just for giggles, it's a major threat to international security. » 8/03/11 12:31am 8/03/11 12:31am

The UN Says Taking File Sharers Offline Violates Their Human Rights

Clean water. Not being tortured. Torrents. Yep—the United Nations has enshrined the right to not be booted off the internet by your government has a fundamental human right, slapping proposed draconian European intellectual property laws in the jaw. » 6/03/11 9:20pm 6/03/11 9:20pm

Google's Real-Life Babelfish Will Translate the World

The tough thing about translation: You need someone who actually speaks both languages. Easy for Spanish to English, not so much for Swahili to Inuktitut. In the Plex by Steven Levy illustrates how Google's machine translations will revolutionize human communication. » 5/12/11 2:16pm 5/12/11 2:16pm

WikiLeaks Diplomatic Bombshell Reveals Strange Tech Snooping Schemes

Today's not a good morning to wake up as an American diplomat. The weekend's WikiLeaks disclosure of covert communications has revealed some strange tech plots surrounding world figures—Bluetooth bugs implanted in prisoners. DNA gathering. UN stalking. Weird stuff. » 11/29/10 10:40am 11/29/10 10:40am

San Francisco to Provide Home for New UN Global Warming Center

San Francisco and Supermayor Gavin Newsom announced plans to take the pollution-mired Hunter's Point Shipyard and build a $20 Million, 80,000-square foot UN Global Compact Center, which will serve as a "climate change think tank and green tech incubator." » 8/03/09 9:00pm 8/03/09 9:00pm

UN Backs $100 Laptop

In a gesture of peace, happiness and love, the UN has decided to back the much-talked-about $100, hand-cranked laptop. And you won't believe where the the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is planning on signing the partnership agreement with MIT's Nicholas Negroponte. Yes, that's right, the luxury ski… » 1/26/06 11:27am 1/26/06 11:27am