The Outline

Caroline Haskins

Caroline Haskins
The Future Aug 30

Why some Baltimore residents are lobbying to bring back aerial surveillance

A handful of Baltimoreans are willing to try anything to stop their police force from killing them, and one technologist is only too happy to help.

The Future Aug 14

The racist language of space exploration

The language of colonialism is infecting outer space, thanks to dominance by rich white businessmen and politicians.

The Future Aug 07

People believe in climate change but don’t think it’s our fault (it is)

Can we please be better.

The Future Aug 06

Water, water, everywhere but not a drop to drink

Climate change threatens water everywhere, but tension between different levels of U.S. government has stalled our response.

The Future Aug 03

FYI, Android location-sharing doxxes your battery percentage

Avoidants who make “sorry phone’s about to die!” excuses: you’re on notice.

The Future Aug 03

Behind the bad tweets of the U.S. military

Public documents reveal how the branches of the U.S. military are instructed to harness internet culture to advance their own messaging.

The Future Jul 31

Climate change disappeared 88 percent of the world’s biggest penguin colony

Even the most isolated creature on earth is not safe.

The Future Jul 27

When tech companies expand without a plan, people pay the price

Tech companies are rushing to expand internationally, but often without a plan for managing fake news, extreme fringe content, hate speech, and political unrest that stirs up on their platforms.

The Future Jul 26

Amazon’s facial recognition tool claims 28 Congresspeople have been arrested

Facial recognition is cheap and not regulated, and you get what you pay for, apparently.

The Future Jul 25

Military AI is coming

In an unprecedented move for the DoD, the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act allocates millions toward organizing the development and deployment of AI in war.

The Future Jul 24

Dam built because of climate change collapses because of climate change

A dam under construction in Laos collapsed, destroying thousands of homes killing an as-yet unknown number of people.

The Future Jul 23

Trump wants your car to pollute freely

Individual states have had the right to enact stricter emission standards than federal EPA regulations. That's about to end.

The Future Jul 20

The Tesla magic is gone

An corporate analyst estimated that almost a quarter of Tesla Model 3 orders may have been canceled. People who canceled their orders were driven by a variety of reasons.

The Future Jul 19

Single pollutants combine in the air like Voltron, may be making everything worse

Industrial pollutants link up with other chemicals and spur the formation of clouds, which have a huge influence on the climate.

The Future Jul 18

AI developers promise they won’t automate murder, with one notable exception

Over two thousand artificial intelligence developers and researchers just signed the Lethal Autonomous Weapons Pledge, agreeing to keep automation out of the decision to murder.

The Future Jul 18

Nothing is free, not even Android: EU fines Google $5.1 billion

The EU Commission slapped Google with a $5.1 billion antitrust fine for allegedly offering Android for free, and then manipulating phone developers.

The Future Jul 17

Google will help the UN with climate change research since the U.S. government won’t

Yesterday, the UN announced a satellite data-sharing partnership with Google in an effort to make scarcely-funded climate data more accessible.

The Future Jul 17

A visual history of America’s love affair with nuclear weapons

Declassified videos show the most powerful country on earth using the most powerful weapon humanity has ever known.

By Caroline Haskins

The Future Jul 16

The only stat about our plastic straw problem comes from... a nine-year-old boy

Back in 2011, a young environmental advocate made a few calls to straw manufacturers. When an environmental group published his findings, the figure took off.

The Future Jul 16

Facebook ad micro-targeting can manipulate individual politicians

Turns out the Labour Party’s digital voter registration drive was for the few, not the many.

The Future Jul 13

Uber introduces constant, real-time surveillance of drivers’ criminal records

On July 13, Uber told Axios that the company would be rolling out instant, rolling background checks.

The Future Jul 13

Gamergate ringleader experiences moral crisis, four years late

The subreddit r/KotakuInAction, a wellspring of the GamerGate movement, was briefly shut down by its regretful creator

The Future Jul 12

Twenty-foot-tall rice could feed a flooded planet

When climate change floods regions around the world, deepwater rice could thrive while other species die off.

The Future Jul 11

Soon every weather event could become a state of emergency

An unprecedented two-week rain storm devastated Japan and killed almost 200 people. Climate change is part of the reason that the region was so unprepared.

The Future Jul 10

Silicon Valley is funding the future of warfare

A Pentagon contractor secretly granted almost $2 million to help develop air taxis for military purposes.

The Future Jul 09

An adorable six-legged robot will save your succulents

I love it with all my heart.

The Future Jul 09

Government advisers try to appease Trump's demand for a “Space Force” by presenting it as a “Space Guard.”

While people try to rebrand Trump's “Space Force” as a “Space Guard,” the essential nature of the idea is the same.

The Future Jul 06

Elon Musk wants to rescue the soccer team trapped in a cave

SpaceX and the Boring Company are the first private company to offer help to the group of boys and soccer coach.

The Future Jul 05

Combining antibiotics may stave off future superbugs

Ineffective strains of antibiotics can form synergies that can actually make them effective at fighting infection.

Culture Jul 04

A glimpse inside Autism Day at Six Flags

For one summer day, children with autism and their families have Six Flags Great Adventure all to themselves.

The Future Jul 03

Enjoy otherworldly firework photos from the safety of your home

Long-exposure, focus-blurred photos of fireworks look like nothing you've ever seen.

The Future Jul 03

This company wants to tow icebergs to the water-scarce desert

Climate change is making water more scarce than ever in the UAE, and a private company thinks it has a solution.

The Future Jul 02

Juggalos figured out how to beat facial recognition

Welcome to a world where Juggalo makeup is your best shot at avoiding involuntary surveillance.

The Future Jul 02

This is the first time we’ve ever seen a newborn planet

PDS 70b, an exoplanet 370 light years away, was captured in the fist moment of its existence.

The Future Jun 29

What does a satellite sound like?

A precisely engineered sound pavilion gives visitors an ambient auditory connection to the satellites buzzing above our heads.

The Future Jun 28

The world has hit its highest low temperature ever

A better way to talk about extreme temperatures.

The Future Jun 27

Green buildings are so in demand, they’re causing greenhouse gases

A destructive gas is pouring into the atmosphere, and tax credits for energy-efficiency may play a role.

The Future Jun 26

Ocean uranium could fuel our future

This uranium yellowcake was extracted from the ocean, and could be used to fuel nuclear power plants. You cannot eat it.

The Future Jun 25

Why did life get big?

According to new research, muticellular Ediacaran organisms emerged so that they could disperse their offspring, not compete for resources.

Culture Jun 25

The Sonic Pickle Juice Slush was created by people who hate pickles

For genuine pickle lovers, the new item is an insult and an act of betrayal.

The Future Jun 21

The most-viewed YouTube videos from every year since it started

The most-viewed videos on YouTube illustrate how the site’s monetization policies affected its content.

The Future Jun 21

Climate change has a sound

Machine learning reveals how migratory birds trying to find mates are being left lonely by climate change.

The Future Jun 19

Who will make ‘Fern Gully’ but for climate change?

A new study indicates that the combined forces of climate change and land use will be incredibly lethal to animals.

The Future Jun 19

Trump insists on creating a Space Force

At a meeting of the National Space Council, Trump repeated his plans to create a “Space Force” and increase America’s military presence in space.

The Future Jun 18

Gaming addiction is a real condition now

The UN has recognized the condition as a mental disorder in the latest version of its the International Classification of Diseases, but not all psychologists are on board.

The Future Jun 14

Uber wants to avoid its largest customer base: drunk people

According to a patent issued on June 7, Uber wants drivers to be able to opt out of drunk passengers.

The Future Jun 14

Flavored vapes may have the same effect on cells as cigarettes

Researchers are still sorting out the long-term effects of vaping as adoption rises.

The Future Jun 13

Antarctica is screwed and so are we

A series of new research papers published about the frozen continent reveal that what protected it in the past won’t protect it in the future.

The Future Jun 12

A global Dust Bowl is coming

Dust is known to cause premature deaths, but climate change’s effect on how bad our dust problems will get remains notoriously understudied.

The Future Jun 11

This global net neutrality map sure makes the U.S. look great

A map by the Global Net Neutrality Coalition shows that the U.S. joins countries like China and Russia in having no federal net neutrality protections.

The Future Jun 11

Ocean oxygen levels are dropping and taking marine life with them

According to new research, existing measurements show ocean “dead zones” are even worse than we thought.

The Future Jun 08

Eavesdropping devices may be at the center of sonic attacks in China

Two American diplomats and their families at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China have been evacuated.

The Future Jun 08

We’re not done figuring out how plastic litter is ruining the ocean

New research suggests the insulating effects of microplastics on sand could determine the sex of baby sea turtles.

The Future Jun 07

Don’t focus on recycling carbon at the expense of reducing it

Industrial scale methods of carbon recapture may be on the horizon, but it’s far from an end-all solution to our changing climate.

The Future Jun 06

Perfecting the language of emojis

Google takes user feedback on how to make its emoji less bewildering; or, toward a theory of a less evil goat.

The Future Jun 06

Guess what’s slowing hurricanes down and making them more deadly

Over the past seventy years, hurricanes have been lingering longer and longer on coasts, likely thanks to the effects of — wait for it — waaaiiit for it — climate change.

The Future Jun 05

Salt-resistant rice could feed a climate-change ravaged world

After decades of failed attempts around the world, China has emerged as a leader in developing salt-resistant plants resilient to the effects of climate change.

The Future Jun 04

Japan may be the first country to have self-driving cars

Japan announced plans to develop a system of self-driving cars in time for the 2020 Olympics.

The Future Jun 01

This extreme weather map is terrifying and hypnotic

For the full effect, try not to think too hard about how climate change is making many of these weather events more likely.

The Future May 31

240-million year old mother lizard is cute as hell

According to new research published in nature, the dinosaur-era ancestor to modern lizards is over 70 million years older than previously thought.

The Future May 30

Control over sugar cravings may be one brain tweak away

New research maps the part of the brain that processes taste, manages learning, and controls behavior.

The Future May 30

Summer’s hottest dystopian crossover event is MoviePass and student loan debt

MoviePass announced a partnership with student loan refinancing service Laurel Road, which is a very normal thing to do.

The Future May 29

Blocked by the U.S., China will build its own damn space station

Billed as a potential site of international collaboration, China also has political motives for this undertaking

The Future May 29

Hurricane Maria killed 5,000 more people in Puerto Rico than estimates say

According to new data published by Harvard, the official death count in Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria is 70 times too low.

The Future May 28

Uh, what does Antarctica actually look like?

The typical map of Antarctica is very, very bad. We're here to help.

The Future May 28

Scientists race to find who is pumping an incredibly dangerous gas into the atmosphere

An unidentified nation is violating the Montreal Protocol and emitting one of the worst, most destructive aerosols on Earth.

The Future May 25

Our entirely avoidable plunge into oblivion, as a nice poster

Climate scientist Ed Hawking came up with a simple way to visualize how quickly the earth is warming up.

The Future May 24

Alexa can eavesdrop, record, and send what it hears to your contacts

Amazon admitted a flaw in its Echo devices allowed a couple's private conversations to be sent to one of their coworkers.

The Future May 23

Trump can’t block you on Twitter

A District Court just ruled that it’s unconstitutional for Trump to block people on Twitter, even from his personal account.

The Future May 23

Mapping the growth of China’s subway system for 1.3 billion people

Graphic designer Peter Dovak made a gif that visualizes 30 years of proliferation in China's urban rapid transit systems

The Future May 23

Climate change is going to be really fucking expensive

Rising seas, falling bank accounts.

The Future May 22

Is this Trump’s “Space Force?”

The Pentagon is reportedly seeking funding to make hypersonic missile-detecting satellites a reality.

The Future May 18

Nobody tell Trump he might fund Paris Accord climate research

The House snuck in money on a federal spending bill for a climate program that Trump wants to axe.

The Future May 17

We rely on oil to make plastics. Now, plants can change that

Forget mitochondria. Lignin is the real powerhouse of the cell (wall).

The Future May 17

R.I.P. science, the International Space Station will be taken over by rich people

NASA admins are maximizing the business potential of space.

The Future May 16

Our water is in danger

According to a new study from NASA, our life-giving freshwater supply is far from secure.

The Future May 16

What, a billionaire can’t even dig a giant tunnel anymore?

Two Los Angeles community advocacy groups are alleging that their city is skirting state law to speed up the timeline on Elon Musk's project.

The Future May 15

Get high and watch the sun churn at invisible wavelengths

The Outline has your back. Go enjoy the rest of your Tuesday.

The Future May 15

Fiber could save you from the flu

According to a new study, fiber changes the way your immune system works and responds to a flu infection.

The Future May 14

Facebook’s audit won’t get your stolen data back

The company issued a triumphant press release about its audit of third party apps on the same day as another data extraction scandal.

The Future May 10

SpaceX is coming to gentrify LA

SpaceX just received approval to build its BFR in an area of Los Angeles that’s already been increasingly gentrified.

The Future May 10

Pediatricians should not be grilling teens about social media

Some pediatricians think they should ask about social media use during check-ups, but research doesn’t support it.

The Future May 10

A no-bullshit guide to Google I/O 2018

We give you the good, the bad, and the ugly from Google's developer conference.

The Future May 09

Our very normal economy now involves selling beer from space

Companies like Budweiser are renting out space on the ISS to research and promote their products.

The Future May 09

Self-destructing messages don’t always self-destruct

A vulnerability in the secure messaging app Signal reveals just how difficult it is to erase data everywhere it goes.

The Future May 08

Uber self-driving car that struck woman may have guessed (wrongly) she wasn’t real

The death of a pedestrian in March can't be blamed solely on the human operator of Uber's self-driving vehicle.

The Future May 08

Private space companies no longer have to follow the law

The Space Commerce Free Enterprise Bill says private companies don't have to abide by a foundational half-century-old space treaty.

The Future May 04

This water filter made of paper could save people’s lives during natural disasters

Researchers from the University of Buffalo invented a nearly 100 percent efficient, low-cost water filter powered by the sun.

The Future May 03

Wealthy governments only care about their own polluted cities

A new report by the World Health Organization shows disparities between the biggest carbon polluters and homes to cities with the worst air pollution.

The Future May 03

Is Facebook going to use satellites to corner markets in the developing world?

Zuck’s alleged stealth approach to establishing satellite internet is concerning given the existing problems on the platform and its internet services.

Culture May 02

The sun won’t rise until August in Antarctica

A select group of scientists are stationed in Antarctica, but they’ll be dealing with near 24-hour darkness until August.

The Future May 01

Big Tobacco knew way more about addiction than it let on

Internal documents from Philip Morris reveal scientific knowledge that’s been used to get teens hooked on nicotine.

The Future Apr 27

You have no control over your data, even your DNA

The arrest of the Golden State Killer has raised uncomfortable questions about information sharing by online genealogical databases.

The Future Apr 26

Stop using autism statistics for fear-mongering

The CDC updated its assessment about the prevalence of autism, so naturally, it’s being taken out of context.

The Future Apr 26

Your immune system is in charge of how quickly you age

New research from Stanford just proved a 61-year old hypothesis.

The Future Apr 24

Stand on the surface of a comet

Using public images from the European Space Agency, a Twitter user was able to create a stunning gif of the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

The Future Apr 23

We don’t know what to do if a satellite gets hacked

It’s about to get very crowded up there, and cyberattacks pose a bigger threat than ever.

The Future Apr 20

China’s Antarctic research stations are being ruined by tourists

Sometimes researchers have to stop their work and feed the visitors lunch.

The Future Apr 20

Don’t believe this fearmongering about pesticides

The EWG’s list of fruits and berries that are apparently too dangerous to eat is based on shoddy science.

The Future Apr 18

A drone won’t just deliver your IKEA chair — it will assemble it, too

Robots are finally addressing the most pressing technical problem of our time.

The Future Apr 17

Your horoscope app just needs your email, birthdate, location, and... wait a minute

Horoscope apps request very sensitive information they are under no obligation to protect.

The Future Apr 16

Isolating trolls works, and we should get better at it

The front page of the internet may also be the front lines in the ongoing moderation wars

The Future Apr 12

Big coal is getting into bed with bitcoin bros

A coal power plant in Australia is reopening in 2019 so that people can mine cryptocurrencies.

The Future Apr 10

Today Zuckerberg made it clear he doesn’t care about users

Based on his testimony today, the Facebook CEO puts users last during a crisis.

The Future Apr 05

Microplastics are creeping into farms and oceans

Microplastics are infiltrating our land and water ecosystems.

The Future Apr 03

Before we drown, humanity will starve

A new study maps how badly most of the world will be hit by climate-change related hunger.

The Future Mar 30

When I was your age, there were these things called “beaches”

Countries are closing beaches to people to cope with the effects of climate change.

The Future Mar 29

Get high and watch this melting snowflake video for an hour

NASA just made the first-ever 3D model of a melting snowflake.

The Future Mar 29

China to fight climate change by... contributing to climate change

China announced the biggest cloud seeding project in history in response to climate change. It could make the problem worse.

The Future Mar 28

The only place in the universe with no dark matter

To the galaxy with no dark matter: please take us with you.

The Future Mar 23

The price of the internet is the space race nobody knows about

Spectrum warehousing lets corporations control the price of the internet in the developing world.

The Future Mar 21

Cloudy with a chance of bullshit

Why your weather app can’t seem to get it right.

The Future Mar 20

One percent of Reddit users cause 75 percent of the drama

Subreddits around gaming, porn, and memes contain most of the site's pot-stirrers.

The Future Mar 16

FEMA won’t say “climate change”

FEMA’s 5-year strategic plan, released on Thursday, makes no mention of “climate change” or “global warming,” which threaten millions of lives and livelihoods.

The Future Mar 15

No, you can’t do an eye test online

The FDA has issued a warning to a website that issues glasses prescriptions from an at-home online test .

The Future Mar 15

The legal battle to colonize Mars

International rules to protect outer space may not be enough to stop the United States.

The Future Mar 14

Halo Top ice cream too expensive? Hack your own

A DIY community on Reddit is figuring out how to build store-bought diet foods out of the raw materials.

The Future Mar 09

What does this rural broadband project want with teens?

As a part of a rural broadband initiative companies are installing Wi-Fi on school buses.

The Future Mar 07

We are screening women of color for breast cancer too late

We base recommendations for cancer screenings on white women at the cost of non-white women's lives, according to new research.

The Future Mar 06

Tourists are swarming Antarctica to see it before it’s gone

Go quick; it’s melting.

The Future Mar 02

Uber still sucks at accessibility

Uber announced a healthcare transportation service called Uber Health, but it has a terrible track record for serving people with physical disabilities.

The Future Feb 27

Paradise, destroyed by a hurricane, is trying to put up a parking lot

Antigua and Barbuda moved up its election by more than a year to try and secure development-friendly policies following Hurricane Irma.

The Future Feb 23

Florida AG, students working on “see something, say something” app

Stoneman Douglas students are creating an app to report suspicious activity following the February 14 shooting.

The Future Feb 23

Cold War 2.0 is already happening in space

Corporations line up to fight as proxies for nations around the world.

The Future Feb 21

If your Apple Watch knows you’ll get diabetes, who can it tell?

Silicon Valley is starting to publish research using Apple Watch data, but there are still no laws about what information they keep, sell, or share.

The Future Feb 20

Wikipedia ends zero-rated access for developing countries

Wikipedia used to not count against data plans in certain countries, but no longer.

The Future Feb 15

The LAN party is alive and well at the end of the Earth

For people stationed in Antarctica, 3D gaming and virtual reality offer some comfort.

The Future Feb 08

The race to predict hurricanes

Hurricanes take lives, cost billions of dollars, and are inevitable. Thousands of citizen scientists want to help predict them.