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Medical Data Has Become the Next Cybersecurity Target

March 20, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Hackers often carry out massive cyberattacks to gain access to financial data throughbanks and retail companies, but this week's cybercrime hit a seemingly new target: medical data, taken from the health insurance company Premera Blue Cross. The attack affected 11 million patients, making it the largest cyberattack involving medical information...

The Science Behind Human-Controlled Weather

February 19, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It hasn't been an enjoyable winter for much of the United States. Record snowfall has blanketed cities like Boston, while below-freezing temperatures and relentless wind chills have sent shivers all the way from Chicago to Atlanta. At times like these, some people start wondering whether humans can combat the cold...

A Computer Can Probably Create as Many Special Snowflakes as Nature

December 19, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow No one can prove that no two snowflakes are alike. Sure, each one starts off the same way—as hexagonal crystals form out of water molecules—but changing temperatures and humidity levels cause them to grow different arms in different ways at different angles. And there's no way to track the shape,...

New Space Mission: Leave a Time Capsule on the Moon

November 24, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A decade from now, if all goes well, a spacecraft with a high-tech drill will land in the South Pole-Aitken basin of the moon. There, it will bore 66 feet down into the surface and collect samples of the mantle to bring back to Earth. But before it leaves, it'll...

The Environmentally Friendly Drone That Could 'Disappear' on the Battlefield

November 17, 2014 Drones are, largely, military tools—hardened, efficient machines of war. They're sturdy, not fuzzy. Strong, not brittle. And they should definitely not start breaking down upon impact. But breaking down is exactly what the bio-drone is supposed to do. Created—or rather, grown—by a team of 15 students from Stanford University, Brown...

NASA Develops Biodegradable Drones

November 17, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Drones are, largely, military tools—hardened, efficient machines of war. They're sturdy, not fuzzy. Strong, not brittle. And they should definitely not start breaking down upon impact. But breaking down is exactly what the bio-drone is supposed to do. Created—or rather, grown—by a team of 15 students from Stanford University, Brown...

What’s at the Root of Your Facebook Addiction? Numbers

November 10, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A "like" on Facebook is a treat. You get a little red pop-up on your notifications icon, you see the little box on the lower-left corner of your screen describing the like, and you get that warm, albeit fleeting sense of pride. Someone liked your post. Your post! You savor...

Get Ready for a New Wave of Biometrics

October 16, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow By now, it's common knowledge that passwords are flawed. In April, the Heartbleed bug forced users to reset passwords across hundreds of thousands of websites. The celebrity photos stolen in September were, according to Apple, accessed through a "targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions." And just this...

What if Police Body Cams Get Hacked?

September 25, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow They're presented as the policeman's panacea: Body cameras can magically diffuse street violence between officers and citizens. They can perfectly capture, record, and hold all parties accountable for their actions. Got a complaint? Just watch the footage. Yet, the seemingly easy fix opens the gates to a flood of questions...

Will Apple Pay Convince You to Leave Your Wallet at Home?

September 10, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Apple announced its mobile payment service — called Apple Pay — Tuesday, effectively sending shivers down the metaphorical spines of competitors like Coin, Google Wallet, and Softcard. But what is Apple Pay? Apple's Eddy Cue pretty much covered it during the (painfully) slow intro video: Instead of wasting your precious...

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