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Where to View This Weekend's East Coast Rocket Launch

July 11, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow NASA's Cygnus cargo spacecraft has the crucial duty of delivering thousands of pounds of supplies to the International Space Station. But first it has to get into the air, and to that end the space agency has stuck it inside a rocket that will blast off spectacularly on Sunday afternoon*. ...

Smartphone Junkies Report Higher Job Satisfaction

July 8, 2014 Next time the boss catches you playing games on your phone, try this one out: "Candy Crush is helping boost my workplace performance." It wouldn't be a total lie because—and you can thank me later for finding this excuse to burn company time—research has linked frequent phone breaks with being ...

Wind Turbines Can Act Like Big Magnets for Lightning

February 24, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow There are many surprising things about wind turbines: the way they can morph into immense fireballs, their ability to fly, the huge number of bats they kill. Perhaps it's not so astonishing, then, to learn that they can act like giant lightning-firing machine guns, too. Turbines's hidden lives as lightning ...

Japan's Drivers Must Obey Traffic Robots

January 27, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Do American drivers know the extent to which they're being deprived, signage-wise? When motorists enter a construction zone in this country, they'll likely to run into a bunch of orange signs or, at the flashiest, a glowing arrow like this one: (@neotsn / Flickr) It's fine enough if the goal ...

Here's a List of Data Centers the NSA Is (Probably) Spying On

October 2, 2013 The U.S. government may have shut down, but you know its vast spying apparatus is working hard. And what might it be doing right now? Penetrating private Facebook accounts? Slipping Trojan horses into computers at The Guardian? Ordinary citizens might never know what their government is up to security-wise, but ...

These Massive Data Facilities Could Be Targets of Government Spying

October 2, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The U.S. government may have shut down, but you know its vast spying apparatus is working hard. And what might it be doing right now? Penetrating private Facebook accounts? Slipping Trojan horses into computers at The Guardian? Ordinary citizens might never know what their government is up to security-wise, but ...

What World Governments Are Most Likely to Snoop on Your Facebook?

September 27, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Want to avoid the government prying into your Facebook? Then move to Barbados. There, tens of thousands of years will roll by before you even reach a 1 percent probability the Man will scoop private data from your account. That's according to an occasionally anxiety-provoking map of Facebook security created ...

Here's Where You're Most Likely to Die From Air Pollution

September 19, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Where on earth are you most likely to die early from air pollution? NASA provides the answer with this mortally serious view of the planet, and it is: lots of places. Like tar stains on a healthy lung, the sickly yellow and brown areas in this visualization represent regions with ...

This Robot Army Is Obsessed With Random Acts of Kindness

September 17, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Cylons will shoot you with implanted machine guns. A Terminator T-1000 might spear you through the brain with a molten fist. Being the big, lumbering robots they are, a Decepticon will probably run you down like a bulldozer operator sucking on a fifth of Old Grand-Dad. So what's the lethal ...

Biofuel Researchers See Promise in Panda Dung

September 13, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Pandas are stupid. They are amazingly bad at sex. They're fat, lazy, and poop way too much – up to 40 times a day. Well, guess what, panda haters: In regard to that last point, panda dung could be the very thing that saves civilization from wars, famines, and doom. ...