AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Alex Brown

Alex Brown Alex Brown is a Technology reporter for National Journal.
Results 81-90 of 98

Government Passwords Are Incredibly Easy to Hack

February 4, 2014 Some of the federal government's most sensitive data are protected by passwords that wouldn't pass muster for even the most basic civilian email account, according to a new congressional report. Passwords like "password," "qwerty," and users' names have left Homeland Security Department data vulnerable, says a report released Tuesday by...

Canada’s New Way to Spy on You (at the Airport)

January 31, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Canada's electronic spy agency snooped on travelers who used free airport Wi-Fi—and tracked them long after they left, according to newly released files provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. And while our northern neighbors squabble over the legality of Communications Security Establishment Canada's data-collection program, it could have bigger...

Feds Shoot Down Beer Delivery by Drone

January 30, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It seemed like the perfect plan. Take thirsty ice fishermen, bring them beer with a drone, and watch the profits roll in. But unfortunately for Wisconsin's Lakemaid Beer, Uncle Sam thought otherwise. [Related: Feds Shoot Down Drone Delivery of Valentine's Day Flowers] Lakemaid—a beer co-owned by a brewery and fishing-lure...

Accumulating Space Debris Threatens Satellites

January 28, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow No one really knows what an outer-space garbageman would look like. Nor does anyone want to find out. But our gradual accumulation of orbital trash is giving us narrower and narrower windows from which to leave the Earth—and causing headaches and danger for the astronauts and equipment already in orbit....

The Biggest Hurdle for Self-Driving Cars: Congress

January 27, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Robot cars are coming. Last year, Audi's auto-piloted concept car needed the spacious rear end of a station wagon to house its computer brain. This year's model uses hardware that's the size of an iPad and gets hidden behind a panel in the trunk. Many components of self-driving are at...

Twitter Can Handle State of the Union Traffic Surges

January 21, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Twitter's "fail whale" has gone to a watery grave, but the social-media site is promising it won't need the whale—or any replacement for it—during President Obama's State of the Union address later this month. Inevitably, at some point during the address, one buzz-generating remark will lead to a spike in...

Why Texting Is Dying Out

January 13, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A Deloitte study shows that SMS (standard messaging service) messages declined by 7 billion last year, to 145 billion. Meanwhile, messages sent by instant-messaging apps have spiked dramatically. Roughly 50 billion IMs were sent in 2012, which grew to exceed 150 billion last year. IMs are expected to total nearly...

NASA’s Asteroid Hunter Has Its First Target

January 7, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow NASA's asteroid-hunting ship came out of hibernation last month, and it has already spotted its first space rock. The asteroid—2013 YP139—lacks a catchy name, but it's a marker of progress in NASA's mission to locate, land on, and reroute an asteroid by 2025. Its spotter, a spacecraft known as NEOWISE,...

NASA's 'Asteroid Hunter' Is Back in Action

December 20, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow You can have the moon, China. Leave the asteroid re-routing to us. NASA's asteroid hunter is back in action, and it's looking for a rock where we can land humans next decade. The agency calls its plan—on pace for 2025—"the first mission to identify, capture, and relocate an asteroid." In...

Former EPA Chief Presses Obama on Chemical Safety

October 11, 2013 Shutdown or not, the government needs to step up its actions on chemical-plant safety, said former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christine Todd Whitman on a Friday press call. “We need to have some action on a federal level,” Whitman said, saying chemical safety has been an “obvious issue” since 9/11,...