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 racist language of space exploration
The language of colonialism is infecting outer space, thanks to dominance by rich white businessmen and politicians.
People believe in climate change but don’t think it’s our fault (it is)
Can we please be better.
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.
FYI, Android location-sharing doxxes your battery percentage
Avoidants who make “sorry phone’s about to die!” excuses: you’re on notice.
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.
Climate change disappeared 88 percent of the world’s biggest penguin colony
Even the most isolated creature on earth is not safe.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Silicon Valley is funding the future of warfare
A Pentagon contractor secretly granted almost $2 million to help develop air taxis for military purposes.
An adorable six-legged robot will save your succulents
I love it with all my heart.
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.
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.
Combining antibiotics may stave off future superbugs
Ineffective strains of antibiotics can form synergies that can actually make them effective at fighting infection.
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.
Enjoy otherworldly firework photos from the safety of your home
Long-exposure, focus-blurred photos of fireworks look like nothing you've ever seen.
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.
Juggalos figured out how to beat facial recognition
Welcome to a world where Juggalo makeup is your best shot at avoiding involuntary surveillance.
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.
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 world has hit its highest low temperature ever
A better way to talk about extreme temperatures.
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.
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.
Why did life get big?
According to new research, muticellular Ediacaran organisms emerged so that they could disperse their offspring, not compete for resources.
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 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.
Climate change has a sound
Machine learning reveals how migratory birds trying to find mates are being left lonely by climate change.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Uh, what does Antarctica actually look like?
The typical map of Antarctica is very, very bad. We're here to help.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Climate change is going to be really fucking expensive
Rising seas, falling bank accounts.
Is this Trump’s “Space Force?”
The Pentagon is reportedly seeking funding to make hypersonic missile-detecting satellites a reality.
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.
We rely on oil to make plastics. Now, plants can change that
Forget mitochondria. Lignin is the real powerhouse of the cell (wall).
R.I.P. science, the International Space Station will be taken over by rich people
NASA admins are maximizing the business potential of space.
Our water is in danger
According to a new study from NASA, our life-giving freshwater supply is far from secure.
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.
Get high and watch the sun churn at invisible wavelengths
The Outline has your back. Go enjoy the rest of your Tuesday.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A no-bullshit guide to Google I/O 2018
We give you the good, the bad, and the ugly from Google's developer conference.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Your immune system is in charge of how quickly you age
New research from Stanford just proved a 61-year old hypothesis.
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.
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.
China’s Antarctic research stations are being ruined by tourists
Sometimes researchers have to stop their work and feed the visitors lunch.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Microplastics are creeping into farms and oceans
Microplastics are infiltrating our land and water ecosystems.
Before we drown, humanity will starve
A new study maps how badly most of the world will be hit by climate-change related hunger.
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.
Get high and watch this melting snowflake video for an hour
NASA just made the first-ever 3D model of a melting snowflake.
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 only place in the universe with no dark matter
To the galaxy with no dark matter: please take us with you.
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.
Cloudy with a chance of bullshit
Why your weather app can’t seem to get it right.
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.
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.
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 legal battle to colonize Mars
International rules to protect outer space may not be enough to stop the United States.
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.
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.
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.
Tourists are swarming Antarctica to see it before it’s gone
Go quick; it’s melting.
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.
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.
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.
Cold War 2.0 is already happening in space
Corporations line up to fight as proxies for nations around the world.
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.
Wikipedia ends zero-rated access for developing countries
Wikipedia used to not count against data plans in certain countries, but no longer.
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 race to predict hurricanes
Hurricanes take lives, cost billions of dollars, and are inevitable. Thousands of citizen scientists want to help predict them.