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Caitlin Fairchild

Web Producer Caitlin Fairchild joined Government Executive in summer 2011 as an editorial fellow, after graduating from the College of William & Mary, where she spent four years writing for the student newspaper, The Flat Hat. In March 2012, she was hired full time as a web producer. She has completed internships at Washingtonian Magazine and at the public affairs office of Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.
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Answers to Password Questions You're Too Embarrassed to Ask

May 4, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow May 4 is World Password Day, an event designed to promote good password habits online because weak logins like "123456" and "qwerty" continue to top the lists of the most common passwords. The frequent use of weak passwords isn't from a lack of information, however. Results from a Pew Research...

New Tricks for Google Maps

May 3, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Google Maps is great at getting users from point A to point B, but now the app is introducing new features to help enhance people's navigation experience. Lost in a crowd or on city streets? You can now share your current location with friends. To do that, tap the blue...

SpaceX's Secretive Satellite Launch

May 1, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Early morning May 1, SpaceX launched another Falcon 9 rocket carrying a satellite from NASA's Kennedy Space Center. The details and purpose of the satellite? Classified. But who commissioned the launch? The National Reconaissance Office, a U.S. military agency launching and operating spy satellites since the 1960s, tapped the burgeoning...

The Rise of the Health Care Robots

April 28, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Robots and artificial intelligence systems are becoming an increasing part of the health care system, aiding doctors and nurses in their work. One AI algorithm developed by researchers at Stanford University runs through a smartphone and can help doctors identify and diagnose skin cancer by scanning images of a patient's...

Ransomware is On the Rise and Getting More Expensive

April 27, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Incidents of ransomware are becoming more frequent and the cost is rising. According to Verizon's 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report, it's the fifth most common form of malware. Ransomware targets private citizens, retailers and hospitals but the government also ends up in the crosshairs. In 2016, ransomware on government agencies...

How to Stop Services from Snooping on Your Gmail

April 26, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In the wake of the huge Uber and Unroll.me scandal, people have a lot of questions. The scandal revealed that Uber was buying access to the emails of people subscribed to Unroll.me, a service designed to declutter inboxes. Specifically, many are wondering what else may be lurking in inboxes and...

Record-Breaking NASA Astronaut Chats With President About Unusual Drinking Habits

April 24, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Astronaut and Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson has achieved a milestone. On April 24, Whitson officially broke the record for most cumulative days on orbit by a U.S. astronaut: 534 days and counting. To commemorate the event, as per tradition, President Donald Trump, called the International Space Station to congratulate...

How to Slingshot a Spacecraft Between Saturn's Rings and Crash It

April 21, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow NASA's Cassini spacecraft has been orbiting around Saturn and its moons, collecting data for nearly 13 years. The time has come for Cassini to wrap up its mission, as it will soon run out of fuel. NASA scientists are concerned that if left unchecked the spacecraft will crash into one...

Facebook's Account Recovery Changes Could Drastically Improve Your Online Security

April 20, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow If you've ever forgotten your password to a website or app, you know there are two options for getting back in. You could reset the password through a link sent to your email, or answer a security question about what high school you went to and your dog's name. Unfortunately,...

NASA 3-D Printed Its Own 'Space Fabric'

April 19, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Fashion and science collide with one of NASA's latest projects: a metallic fabric that could aid in space exploration. Looking a lot like medieval chain mail, the fabric is 3-D printed all in one piece. Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory believe the foldable and shape-changing material could work as...