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Alexis Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a staff writer for The Atlantic.
Results 51-60 of 121

Snipers Coordinated an Attack on the Power Grid, but Why?

February 5, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Last April, unknown attackers shot up 17 transformers at a California substation in what the then-chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Jon Wellinghoff called "the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred" in this country. Though news reports about the incident at the...

Introducing (1978!) Cellular Phone Service

February 5, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow AT&T's archives of the Bell Labs research and media provides a neverending stream of fascinating tidbits about the development of modern mobile communications. Recently, archivist Robin Edgerton discovered a 1978 film called " Advanced Mobile Phone Service (AMPS) " that is the earliest she's found that describes cellular telephone operation....

Earth Resumes Surveillance of Mercury

January 29, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Mars gets all the attention. Mars Mars Mars Mars. Then there's Jupiter with its storms and Saturn with its rings. Even Pluto gets all kinds of attention, and it's not even a planet. But who's paying attention to old Mercury? Actually, that would the Messenger spacecraft, which was the first...

The Future of the Army: Less Soldiers, More Robots, More 'Lethality'

January 21, 2014 In the future, an Army brigade might have 3,000 human troops instead of 4,000, but a lot more robots, according to recent remarks by General Robert Cone, the Army's head of Training and Doctrine Command. "I’ve got clear guidance to think about what if you could robotically perform some of...

The Future of the Army: Fewer Soldiers, More Robots, More 'Lethality'

January 21, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In the future, an Army brigade might have 3,000 human troops instead of 4,000, but a lot more robots, according to recent remarks by General Robert Cone, the Army's head of Training and Doctrine Command. "I’ve got clear guidance to think about what if you could robotically perform some of...

These Two Guys Tried to Rebuild a Cray Supercomputer

January 14, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow There was a time when the word "supercomputer" inspired the same sort of giddy awe that infuses Superman or Superconducting Supercollider. A super computer could leap tall buildings in a single bound and peer into the secrets of the universe. And chief among this race of almost mythical machines was...

Where Do We Go From Here? 8 Hypotheses About Tech in 2014

January 8, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow If there was a feeling that defined the cultural backdrop for 2013, it was technoanxiety. The two big things were the continued rise of doing everything on a screen, and the continued rise of doing things the old way. Mobile everything. And vintage everything. Digging your hands into the earth,...

Christmas Is the Biggest App Downloading Day of the Year

December 24, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Last year, on December 25, the day that marks the birth of Jesus Christ as well as the arrival of Santa Claus, people downloaded 328 million apps to smartphones and tablets, according to the analytics firm Flurry. It was the biggest app downloading day in the (very short) history of...

61.5% of Web Traffic Is Not Human

December 12, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It happened last year for the first time: Bot traffic eclipsed human traffic, according to the bot-trackers at Incapsula. This year, Incapsula says 61.5 percent of traffic on the Web is non-human. Now, you might think this portends the arrival of "The Internet of Things"—that ever-promised network that will connect...

Drone-Delivery Expert on Amazon's Plans

December 3, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Two and a half years ago, Andreas Raptopoulos founded Matternet , a company devoted to creating a network of drones that could deliver lightweight packages. It's starting with medical applications, with plans to extend from there to "bring to the world its next-generation transportation system." To hear Raptopoulostell it, when...