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Alexis Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a staff writer for The Atlantic.
Results 61-70 of 121

HP Lovecraft on Big Data

December 2, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each...

How the Comet Lost Its Tail

November 27, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Right now, Comet ISON is streaking towards the sun, and astronomers anticipate it will pass through our star's atmosphere tomorrow. What they're not-so-secretly hoping is that ISON will meet the same fate as 2007's Comet Encke did: getting blasted by a coronal mass ejection (CME). "I would absolutely love to...

This Massive Robot Could Soon Join Marines on the Battlefield

November 21, 2013 The future doesn't always arrive with a gasp and a boom like Skynet in Terminator . No, sometimes it's more like Office Space . At least that's the idea I get watching this video of the Marines' testing the Legged Squad Support System . DARPA built the LS3 to act...

Is Google's Secretive Research Lab Working on Human-Dolphin Communication?

November 21, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It started innocently enough, as rumors do: A friend of a friend and I were chatting about Google and he said that his buddy said that Google's secretive research lab, Google X, was working on communicating with dolphins. Whoa! Interspecies communication is one of my all-time favorite topics. Some true...

How Many Astronauts Believe Aliens Exist?

November 11, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Astronaut Chris Hadfield is a reasonable man, a former commander of the International Space Station, and a social media superstar. He recently went on WNYC's Brian Lehrer show to discuss his life and career when a caller asked him about the existence of "alien life." "I don't know of any...

How to Launder Billions of Digital Dollars

November 4, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Money laundering, that staple of films, both comic and thriller, has changed since the days when gangsters ran local fronts that only dealt in cash. A recent Justice Department indictment of the founders of Liberty Reserve, a digital currency company, allows us a rare peek into the mechanics of cleaning...

Test Your Techie Trivia Skills: Where Are Those 90s Terms Now?

August 29, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Poking fun at new words added to various dictionaries is a time-honored journalistic tradition, nearly as well-loved as writing about nomenclature after the Social Security Administration's annual release of the country's most popular names. And for good reason: Everyone uses words and everyone has a name. It doesn't get more...

Among the NSA's Own Tips for Securing Computers: Remove the Webcam

August 20, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Seems like everything gets hacked these days. Baby monitors. White House employees' personal email. Toilets. If it's connected to the Internet, it seems at least a little vulnerable. But surely we can trust that workhorse selfie-generator, the iSight webcam built into the top bezel of Mac laptops. Or... Maybe not....

NASA's Massive Free E-Book Collection

August 9, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Behold, the hundreds of free e-books about space history contained on this webpage. From old favorites like The Difficult Road to Mars: A Brief History of Mars Exploration in the Soviet Union and Wind Tunnels of NASA to experimental work like Aerospace Food Technology and Life in the Universe: Proceedings...

13 Little Things NASA Did to Get Alan Shepard Ready for Space

August 9, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow I was digging around the NASA archives when I stumbled upon the flight surgeon's report for the Mercury-Redstone 3 mission, otherwise known as the second flight by a human into space, and the first by an American. Alan Shepard was the man chosen by the United States to leave Earth....