government

NASA’s slightly better deal with Congress in 2015

NASA’s slightly better deal with Congress in 2015

This year NASA is getting about 1.23 billion dollars more from the US government than they did last year, which is good. It's not fantastic, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. This comes as news in the release of the 2016 omnibus spending bill, which gives NASA more money than the white house requested earlier this year.

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Twitter emailing some users: government might be hacking you

Twitter emailing some users: government might be hacking you

By now, it's no longer surprising to hear that there might be some state-initiated, even sponsored, cyber activity being undertaken in the interests of national security. Most of the time, these happen in secrecy. Rare and unusual are the times, however, when targets are informed of such activities by companies used as middle men in such incidents. That is precisely what Twitter is apparently doing by supposedly emailing an unknown number of users that they might be the target of some state-sponsored hacking attempts.

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Why Banksy just painted Steve Jobs

Why Banksy just painted Steve Jobs

Syrian refugees are being downtrodden by Republican leaders and presidential candidates aplenty. Rogue graffiti artist Banksy has something to say about that. In a painting in the Jungle refugee camp in the French port of Calais, Banksy painted a portrait of Jobs holding a sack and carrying an old-school Apple computer. Something like a shortened Color Classic. And why would Banksy paint Steve Jobs in a refugee camp, you might ask?

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US to ban all soap with microbeads

US to ban all soap with microbeads

Remember when we talked about how products with microbeads were terrible for the environment and that you should never, ever buy them? It would appear that the US government agrees. A bill which bans the sale of personal care products that contain microbeads has just passed the House of Representatives and will soon go to the Senate for approval. Several states have already banned the products, phasing them out over the next several years - this bill, when eventually passed into law, will ban microbeads across the country.

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Rehashed bill could force tech companies to report ‘terrorist activity’

Rehashed bill could force tech companies to report ‘terrorist activity’

A bill has been introduced that, should it become law, will force tech companies like Facebook to report ‘terrorist activity’ to law enforcement agencies. The bill was introduced by Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Dianne Feinstein and Chairman Richard Burr, who stress that such companies won’t have to “monitor customers or undertake any additional action” to hunt down suspected terrorists. The new bill was spurred by reports that the San Bernardino shooter had pledged allegiance to ISIS on Facebook.

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NHTSA’s proposed rating system update will favor crash avoidance tech

NHTSA’s proposed rating system update will favor crash avoidance tech

Automotive technology is changing, and it is time for rating systems to change with it. In a proposal announced today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is seeking an update to its own five-star rating system for new cars. The updated version will take into consideration measurements gathered by more advanced human-like crash dummies as well as crash-avoidance technology.

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North Korea is searching tourists’ laptops, web history

North Korea is searching tourists’ laptops, web history

North Korea is, of course, an awful place to be, and not the first idea most have for an international vacation. The nation has been trying to increase its tourist numbers over the last couple years, however, going so far as to offer mobile Internet access (revoked) and Internet ‘cafes’ lacking in peripherals. If neither of those things deter you from visiting, though, there’s the latest warning from the State Department stating, among other things, that North Korean customs will search through your Internet browser history.

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CDC report shows more Americans are ditching landlines

CDC report shows more Americans are ditching landlines

Back in late 2012, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report found that 35.9-percent of American households were wireless-only, meaning they’d entirely ditched their landline service in favor of mobile phones. Yesterday, the CDC issued a new report that touches on that topic, only with refreshed numbers, and it shows largely what you’d expect: the number of Americans dropping landlines entirely is continuing to grow.

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Tech industry reaffirms stance against weakening encryption

Tech industry reaffirms stance against weakening encryption

The violent events that befell Beirut, Paris, and most recently Nigeria, has once again given rise to the US government's favorite debate topic with the technology sector: encryption. On the one hand, you have the government calling for a backdoor into all encrypted devices and services. On the other corner, you have tech companies insisting on how dangerous that would be for the very people the government claims to protect. The irony of the matter is that both sides are claiming to fight on the side of security, both personal and national.

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Reddit banned in Turkey under internet censorship law

Reddit banned in Turkey under internet censorship law

The Turkish government seems to be continuing it crusade against internet platforms that enable the public to freely communicate, with the latest victim being Reddit. The entire site has been blocked in the country, with officials saying it violates Internet Law 5651, and users losing access sometime late Friday night. The law allows the government to ban websites found hosting "scandalous" content, including piracy, drugs, adult material, or criticism of Mustafa Ataturk, the nation's first president. However, it's not hard to imagine the law being used to censor criticism and free speech.

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Facebook’s latest report shows jump in government requests

Facebook’s latest report shows jump in government requests

On Wednesday, Facebook released its newest government requests report, revealing an increase in government requests of both the blocking and snitching sort. This latest report spans the first half of 2015, and covers data on both the number of content that governments wanted restricted and how much data requests governments submitted. As well, this report also details any info that can be revealed about National Security Requests received from the US government during that period.

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Prisons have a drone problem: anti-UAV system sought

Prisons have a drone problem: anti-UAV system sought

Drones aren't only used for getting in the way of important things and taking pretty aerial pictures -- they're also increasingly being used to smuggle items into prisons. Many reports have surfaced over the last couple years detailing efforts to smuggle everything from adult materials to drugs into prison grounds, and as a result, the Federal Bureau of Prisons is seeking an anti-drone system that will take them down.

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