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Christopher Mims

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Indefinitely Hovering Drone Maker Gets a Boost

November 5, 2013 CyPhy makes nightmarish contraptions for its military clients: flying drones that can be easily operated on the battlefield, and which never need to be recharged because they’re tethered to a power supply. The periodically dormant company (at least publicly) is about to get a fresh infusion of cash. CyPhy is...

Message Security 'Unconditionally Guaranteed' After Quantum Cryptography Breakthrough

November 4, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Demonstrating a feat that was until recently thought to be impossible, researchers in Geneva, Singapore, Cambridge and Waterloo, Ontario have “unconditionally guaranteed” the security and sanctity of a message transmitted between two points on earth. Their work (pdf) could lead to impenetrable communications networks for financial trading, online voting, or...

How Hackers Compromised Links in an Obama Twitter Account: Through Email

October 28, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Quartz has confirmed with the Barack Obama campaign staffer whose email inbox was splashed across the Twitter account of the Syrian Electronic Army that her Gmail account, and those of “lots” of other staffers, was compromised over the weekend. This suggests a fairly straightforward explanation for how Obama’s Twitter account,...

Obama Twitter Account, Campaign Group's Emails Hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army

October 28, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Syrian Electronic Army, a pro-regime collective of hackers, has done it again, only this time the target they’ve compromised is an organization with close ties to the president of the United States. [Read here about how the attack may have gone down.] In a statement on Twitter, the SEA...

A Plan to Turn Every Lightbulb Into an Ultra-Fast Alternative to Wi-Fi

October 18, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Current wireless networks have a problem: The more popular they become, the slower they are. Researchers at Fudan University in Shanghai have just become the latest to demonstrate a technology that transmits data as light instead of radio waves, which gets around the congestion issue and could be ten times...

How Apple Might Bridge the Gap Between Tablets and Laptops

October 16, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow As everyone knows by now, a storm is raging in the world of personal computing. PC sales are down and mobile devices like phones and tablets are the culprit. PC makers are trying to regain lost territory by offering “convertibles”—Frankenstein’s monsters that combine the worst traits of the laptop with...

Worried About Someone’s Health? Connect Their Dog to the Internet

October 15, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow For the first time ever, researchers have created an accurate, robust, collar-mounted system for continuously monitoring and cataloging the behavior of dogs. Originally intended to track animal welfare, the scientists at Newcastle University who invented the system (pdf) now propose that it could also be used as an early warning...

The FBI Plans to Sell What Could Be Millions of Dollars in Bitcoins

October 7, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Federal Bureau of Investigation could end up owning up to 5 percent of all bitcoins in circulation following its crackdown on the illegal drug market Silk Road. This speculative number is based on an assertion of an FBI spokesperson, who guessed that the Silk Road founder’s personal bitcoin wallet...

200 Million Women Are Missing From the Internet

September 26, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Obstacle, meet opportunity. Worldwide, 200 million fewer women have access to the Internet than men (1.3 billion versus 1.5 billion) and this growing divide is only getting worse, says a new report from the UN. By 2016, the gap could be 350 million, as men continue to monopolize “high-status” tools...

Google Is Starting a New Company to Monetize Life Extension and Disrupt the Death Space

September 19, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Time’s cover story on Google’s just-announced new firm, Calico, asks “Can Google Solve DEATH?” Ambitious though Google is, abolishing death is not in fact one of its goals, or at least not yet. Rather, Calico is apparently looking to use tools like big data to determine what really extends lives....

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