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The Internet is down in Syria

November 29, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A hefty -- and scary -- percentage of the Internet in Syria seems to be down at the moment. Per the global Internet monitor Renesys, "77 networks experienced an outage in Syria starting at 10:26 UTC on November 29. This represents 92% of the routed networks in the country." People ...

The Meme Election and the Tumblr Campaign

November 29, 2012 Subscribe: Newsletter Facebook LinkedIn The president was not impressed. Or, more accurately, the president was Not Impressed. When, earlier this month, the newly re-elected commander-in-chief met the gymnasts of the U.S. Olympic team, he did what any president would do: He took a photo op, posing with the Fierce Five ...

Are Your Facebook Friends Stressing You Out? (Yes.)

November 28, 2012 Your (Facebook) friends may be stressing you out. And the more you have, the more stressed you may be. Per a new report from the University of Edinburgh Business School, the more friends you have on Facebook -- or, perhaps more accurately, the more "friends" you have on Facebook -- ...

The future of smartphone tech is ... knuckle-dragging?

November 20, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Touchscreens were a pivotal innovation for computing: Much like the graphical user interface, much like the trackpad, much like the mouse, they gave us a brand-new way to put human bodies to the service of human technology. But the touchscreens we have today are also -- just like graphical interfaces ...

A single, severed cable cut contact between Russia and its satellites

November 16, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Yesterday, at approximately 7:22 p.m., local time, the Moscow's Mission Control experienced something you never want to happen when the mission you're controlling is playing out outside the planet: silence. Complete, utter silence. Roscosmos, Russia's space agency, had lost contact with its satellites -- all of them. Which meant, as ...

Today is the release day for a video game featuring David Petraeus

November 13, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Today, you may or may not have heard, is the release day for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. This would be news to nobody except gamers, were it not for a rather awkward coincidence: The game features a cameo from ... David Petraeus. The real-life former general appears in ...

Gmail's location data led to the discovery of the Petraeus affair

November 12, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This weekend, more details about the Petraeus affair emerged. FBI investigators, it seems -- in a twist of irony fit for either a crime drama or a soap opera -- discovered the CIA director's infidelity by accident: An acquaintance of the Petraeuses, a social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base ...

What it's like to vote for President ... from space

November 7, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Leroy Chiao holds a special distinction: Not only did the American astronaut fly on three shuttle flights and serve as the commander of the tenth expedition to the International Space Station; he is also the first person ever to vote for president from space. Chiao cast his ballot from the ...

When the International Space Station passes over your house, NASA will send you a text message

November 5, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The International Space Station is, after the sun and the moon, the third brightest object in the sky. If you know where to look for it, you can easily see it -- no telescope required. But: if you know where to look for it. Since the Earth spins as the ...

The birth of Hurricane Sandy

October 29, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Hurricane Sandy may be shaping up to be the worst storm in recent history. But it began life like all storms do: as a series of winds, breezing their way across Earth's surface. The video below -- a full disk animation from NASA's GOES-EAST satellite -- shows the birth of ...