Biden Wants $10 Billion for a Climate Army. It's Not Enough

Biden Wants $10 Billion for a Climate Army. It's Not Enough

“A lot of the activities of the original Civilian Conservation Corps were focused on both getting people to work, obviously, but also improving the accessibility and the infrastructure surrounding our natural resources,” says Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist and the director of climate and energy at the Breakthrough Institute, which advocates for action against climate change.

AI Could Enable 'Swarm Warfare' for Tomorrow's Fighter Jets

AI Could Enable 'Swarm Warfare' for Tomorrow's Fighter Jets

AI could allow multiple aircraft to “swarm” together in ways that could change the dynamics of air combat.“One of the things that really stands out is the ability to enable what you would call swarm warfare—rapidly overwhelming opponents,” says Chris Gentile, an ex–Air Force fighter pilot who is a program manager at EpiSci, a military contractor that is developing the technology for the contest, dubbed Air Combat Evolution.

Klara and the Sun Imagines a Social Schism Driven by AI

Klara and the Sun Imagines a Social Schism Driven by AI

We talked about it over a number of conversations, and I think the key question here is: Can AI actually get to that empathy, by understanding human emotions, controlling them through something like a work of art.

FAO - News Article: FAO welcomes €40 million from Germany to help farmers withstand shocks like COVID-19 and extreme climate events

FAO - News Article: FAO welcomes €40 million from Germany to help farmers withstand shocks like COVID-19 and extreme climate events

The funding from Germany's KfW development bank will support FAO's efforts to build the resilience of resource-poor producers, pastoralists and fishers in three of the world's most food insecure countries - the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Yemen, work undertaken in partnership with other UN agencies.

The Trump Administration Left Biden With a Rocket Dilemma

The Trump Administration Left Biden With a Rocket Dilemma

At the time, NASA engineers at Marshall told Pence they were confident the SLS rocket would make its debut flight in 2020, setting up a schedule to allow astronauts to return to the moon by 2024.

The Rise of One of the First Video Game Workers Unions

The Rise of One of the First Video Game Workers Unions

The schools, Agwaze and other programmers explained to me in a London pub, pump out “eight gazillion” games developer grads, for whom there are not necessarily enough good jobs.

Can This Group Revive the Finicky Corpse Flower?

Can This Group Revive the Finicky Corpse Flower?

To combat the lack of genetic diversity in the corpse flower and six other species with shallow gene pools, the Chicago Botanic Garden spearheaded the Tools and Resources for Endangered and Exceptional Plant Species (TREES) program in 2019.

Remembering Dr. Robert Jenkins, The Nature Conservancy’s First Science Director

Remembering Dr. Robert Jenkins, The Nature Conservancy’s First Science Director

Our History A New Kind of Conservation Jenkins developed and continually refined a data driven approach to prioritize and protect the rarest locations of plants and animals and the best examples of natural communities.

What AlphaGo Can Teach Us About How People Learn

What AlphaGo Can Teach Us About How People Learn

David Silver: The big step forward with MuZero is we don't tell it the dynamics of the environment; it has to figure that out for itself in a way that still lets it plan ahead and figure out what's going to be the most effective strategy.

The Secret Service Is Investigating 700 Cases of Covid Relief Fraud

The Secret Service Is Investigating 700 Cases of Covid Relief Fraud

The US Military Buys Location Data From a Popular Muslim Prayer AppFor years, shadowy companies have been buying and selling your location data based on what apps you use.

Apple Will Take a Smaller Cut of Some App Store Revenues

Apple Will Take a Smaller Cut of Some App Store Revenues

Though Apple has not released specific numbers, it's likely that the vast majority of App Store developers are eligible for the program, but they together make up only a small portion of Apple's overall App Store revenue, which was $50 billion last year.

Computer Scientists Achieve the ‘Crown Jewel’ of Cryptography

Computer Scientists Achieve the ‘Crown Jewel’ of Cryptography

In 2018, Aayush Jain, a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles, traveled to Japan to give a talk about a powerful cryptographic tool he and his colleagues were developing.

Formulas or Code? It’s All Numbers When It Comes to Physics

Formulas or Code? It’s All Numbers When It Comes to Physics

If you aren't familiar with these numerical calculations (another name for computational physics), the basic idea is to take a problem and break it into many smaller and simpler problems.

Why Are Lines at Polling Places So Long? Math

Why Are Lines at Polling Places So Long? Math

In the name of “voter protection,” this team was working with a balky spreadsheet that was supposed to estimate the capacity of a given polling place based on data like how many check-in stations and voting machines it had, and how many people were likely to vote there—the numbers county election workers use to plan for what each station needs so everyone can vote fast.

How Humanity Spent Its First 20 Years in Orbit Aboard the ISS

How Humanity Spent Its First 20 Years in Orbit Aboard the ISS

Over the next few years, Gatens and her team ran experiments on different life-support concepts and did their best to keep up with the constant design changes for the station.

The Case for Reviving the Civilian Conservation Corps

The Case for Reviving the Civilian Conservation Corps

In 1933, with the country deep in the Great Depression, the United States government created the Civilian Conservation Corps, a work program that gave young men jobs transforming the American landscape.

The Effort to Build the Mathematical Library of the Future

The Effort to Build the Mathematical Library of the Future

Over the summer, a group of experienced Lean users ran an online workshop called “Lean for the Curious Mathematician.” In the first session, Scott Morrison of the University of Sydney demonstrated how to write a proof in the program.

Uber Pledges to Go All-Electric, but It Doesn't Own the Cars

Uber Pledges to Go All-Electric, but It Doesn't Own the Cars

If electric Ubers and Lyfts make the more emissions-friendly options seem more accessible, that’s a win for the planet.“There’s a catalyst opportunity here, to have positive benefits in the market as a whole and not just for ride hailing,” says Don Anair, research and deputy director of the Clean Vehicles Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The FDA's Approach to Covid-19 Is a Bloody Mess

The FDA's Approach to Covid-19 Is a Bloody Mess

The accompanying press release made it clear to all that a clock was ticking: “The Trump administration is imploring Americans … to dramatically increase donations of convalescent plasma by the end of August,” it said.

The FDA Just OK'd Emergency Use of Plasma for Covid-19

The FDA Just OK'd Emergency Use of Plasma for Covid-19

Based on the president’s comments and those of FDA head Stephen Hahn and HHS director Alex Azar, the data that tipped plasma into getting this Emergency Use Authorization came from a nationwide program to give people wider access to convalescent plasma, led by researchers at the Mayo Clinic.

SpaceX Brings Astronauts Home Safely in a Historic First

SpaceX Brings Astronauts Home Safely in a Historic First

Behnken and Hurley spent the next few hours drifting in orbit while NASA and SpaceX monitored weather conditions at the possible landing sites along the Florida coast.SpaceX mission control made the final decision to deorbit just an hour before Behnken and Hurley landed in the ocean.

Meet the Secret Algorithm That's Keeping Students Out of College

Meet the Secret Algorithm That's Keeping Students Out of College

Both were withdrawn this week, she says, after she scored more poorly than expected on her International Baccalaureate diploma, a two-year high school program recognized by colleges and taken by more than 170,000 students this year, most in the US.Teen regrets about grades aren’t unusual, but the way the foundation behind the IB Diploma Programme calculated this year’s grades was.

An Ohio City's Campaign Got More People to Buy Electric Cars

An Ohio City's Campaign Got More People to Buy Electric Cars

The electrification program, which Ars wrote about last year, involved several different approaches to getting more local residents to switch to BEVs. The city assembled a fleet of 12 BEVs and PHEVs for a "ride and drive" roadshow, visiting communities and places of work to give people an opportunity to try out an EV—something that just under 12,000 people did over the course of two years.

President Trump Just Suspended the Tech Industry's Favorite Visa

President Trump Just Suspended the Tech Industry's Favorite Visa

The executive order also suspends for the rest of the year most J-1 visas, designed for research scholars and professors participating in cultural exchange programs; H-2B visas for seasonal nonagricultural workers; and L-1 visas, which companies use to transfer existing employees to offices in the US.

Expanding the Successful Sustainable Rivers Program

Expanding the Successful Sustainable Rivers Program

“Even though this area is wild and undeveloped, we were seeing pro-longed growing season floods that hurt the floodplain vegetation, eroded river banks, and caused low dissolved oxygen levels that resulted in fish kills,” says Julie DeMeester, water program director for The Nature Conservancy in North Carolina .

FAO - News Article: Thirty countries will benefit as Global Environment Facility funds FAO-led projects

FAO - News Article: Thirty countries will benefit as Global Environment Facility funds FAO-led projects

Nations from Brazil to Yemen will see a boost to their efforts to protect biodiversity; reverse land degradation; adapt to climate change; safeguard international waters; and promote sustainable food systems.

The Pentagon’s Hand-Me-Downs Helped Militarize Police. Here’s How

The Pentagon’s Hand-Me-Downs Helped Militarize Police. Here’s How

“The federal government doesn’t really keep track of a lot of this equipment that goes to local law enforcement agencies,” says Anna Gunderson, a political scientist at Louisiana State University who coauthored a 2019 study that examined the effects of the 1033 program on crime rates.

The US Could Deliver Relief Checks Faster—With Tech's Help

The US Could Deliver Relief Checks Faster—With Tech's Help

Oxfam transfers digital money to thousands in need of relief in Syria, Greece, Kenya, Australia, and the cyclone-prone island of Vanuatu via SMS, an Android phone app, or an NFC card—a kind of contactless payments card that also acts as proof of ID.These applications, in Oxfam’s case the Sempo Cash and Voucher Assistance program, have proven capable of disbursing tens of thousands of dollars at a time to many beneficiaries within minutes—at a near negligible cost.

At Home, Robin Schwartz’s Lens Is More Focused Than Ever

At Home, Robin Schwartz’s Lens Is More Focused Than Ever

When she landed in the US, Amelia didn’t immediately return to her family home to avoid infecting her mother.“We don’t know if she had Covid-19,” Schwartz says.

A New Chatbot Tries a Little Artificial Empathy

A New Chatbot Tries a Little Artificial Empathy

A chatbot developed by artificial intelligence researchers at shows that combining a huge amount of training data with a little artificial empathy, personality, and general knowledge can go some way toward fostering the illusion of good chitchat.