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Both were withdrawn this week, she says, after she scored more poorly than expected on her International Baccalaureate diploma, a two-year high school program recognized by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.

During the Pandemic, the FCC Must Provide Internet for All

During the Pandemic, the FCC Must Provide Internet for All

Given that more than 33 percent of Lifeline recipients qualify under the SNAP program, it follows that large numbers of eligible Americans are being denied benefits.

The Rise of a Hindu Vigilante in the Age of WhatsApp and Modi

The Rise of a Hindu Vigilante in the Age of WhatsApp and Modi

It didn’t take long for people to realize that the new law, combined with a national citizens register, could easily provide a mechanism for stripping Indian Muslims of their citizenship.

The US Hitches Its Final Ride to Space From Russia—for Now

The US Hitches Its Final Ride to Space From Russia—for Now

Thursday’s Soyuz launch will mark the end of the longest period in NASA’s history since it started crewed spaceflight that the agency didn’t have the capability to send its own astronauts to space.

An Online Library Is Venturing Into Uncharted Legal Waters

An Online Library Is Venturing Into Uncharted Legal Waters

For almost a decade, an Internet Archive program called the Open Library has offered people the ability to "check out" digital scans of physical books held in storage by the Internet Archive.

With So Many Streaming Services, What Really Sets Them Apart?

With So Many Streaming Services, What Really Sets Them Apart?

With HBO—and its forthcoming HBO Max service, which will offer additional originals and, well, Friends—the content has always been a part of its branding: It was an alternative to what you’d find on the rest of television, with more sex, more violence, more complicated characters who barely resembled the one-note protagonists on network TV (and they could say “fuck”).

The Weasel on the Toilet & Other Weird Species Discoveries

The Weasel on the Toilet & Other Weird Species Discoveries

Photo © Juan Manuel de Roux / iNaturalist Sometimes, new species are found after years of dedicated fieldwork.Named Macrobiotus shonaicus , the species is the 168th type of tardigrade ever discovered.

A Computer Science Proof Holds Answers for Math and Physics

A Computer Science Proof Holds Answers for Math and Physics

The computer scientists Henry Yuen, Thomas Vidick, Zhengfeng Ji, Anand Natarajan and John Wright co-authored a proof about verifying answers to computational problems and ended up solving major problems in math and quantum physics.

Clearview AI's Massive Client List Got Hacked

Clearview AI's Massive Client List Got Hacked

A declassified study by the intelligent community’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board shared with Congress this week revealed that the metadata program cost $100 million, and only on two occasions produced information that the FBI didn’t already possess.

NASA Puts a Price on a 2024 Moon Landing

NASA Puts a Price on a 2024 Moon Landing

NASA's human spaceflight chief, Doug Loverro, shared this number Monday at Johnson Space Center, as the Trump White House released its fiscal year 2021 budget.

Facebook's Bug Bounty Caught a Data-Stealing Spree

Facebook's Bug Bounty Caught a Data-Stealing Spree

Facebook and Twitter also collaborated with Google and Apple on remediation efforts, and the Indiana University researchers won an additional bug bounty award from Google for their findings.

Spot the Robot Dog Trots Into the Big, Bad World

Spot the Robot Dog Trots Into the Big, Bad World

Once they set Spot’s path by joysticking it around so it can remember the route, then they can let Spot autonomously roam the site, doing the work of a human who’d have to wander around doing the same.

This Government-Subsidized Phone Comes With Malware

This Government-Subsidized Phone Comes With Malware

An Android phone subsidized by the US government for low-income users comes preinstalled with malware that can't be removed without making the device cease to work, researchers reported on Thursday.

Please Stop Sending Terrifying Alerts to My Cell Phone

Please Stop Sending Terrifying Alerts to My Cell Phone

Blue Alerts are mass notifications, now used in 35 states, that are sent to mobile phones and flashed on electronic highway signs when a suspect on the loose is thought to be an “imminent and credible threat to law enforcement.” The hope is that pinging the public will lead to tips for the police, and then a speedier capture.

How to Not Get Sick While Traveling, 5G's Health Effects, and More News

How to Not Get Sick While Traveling, 5G's Health Effects, and More News

Travelers are travelin' and worriers are worryin', but first: a cartoon about GDPR Sunday School .Here's the news you need to know, in two minutes or less.Here are 20 last-minute gift ideas to save your bacon this holiday season.

Want a Tax Credit for Buying an Electric Vehicle? Move Fast

Want a Tax Credit for Buying an Electric Vehicle? Move Fast

At Tesla , the electric vehicle maker, January 1, 2020 will mark something else: the official end of its vehicles’ eligibility for federal tax credits.Here’s how it works: Each automaker is eligible for $7,500 in credits for each electric vehicle sold, up to 200,000 sales.

FAO - News Article: Germany launches €20 million programme with FAO and UNDP to boost the agriculture sectors’ role in addressing climate change

FAO - News Article: Germany launches €20 million programme with FAO and UNDP to boost the agriculture sectors’ role in addressing climate change

11 December, Madrid - The German Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety through its International Climate Initiative today announced it is providing €20 million for a new programme co-led by FAO and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to accelerate climate change action in developing countries' agricultural and land use sectors.

For All Mankind Imagines an Alternate History for NASA

For All Mankind Imagines an Alternate History for NASA

In the team’s most recent creation, For All Mankind, Moore and company introduce audiences to a new history of the space program: One where the Russians made it to the moon first; where Ted Kennedy cancelled his party on Chappaquiddick; and where national heroes like Buzz Aldrin and Wernher von Braun become people, wracked with their own insecurities, flaws, and humanity.

A Secret Space Plane Just Landed After a Record Stay in Orbit

A Secret Space Plane Just Landed After a Record Stay in Orbit

The old space shuttle landing facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center received an unusual visitor early Sunday morning when the Air Force’s secretive X-37B space plane autonomously returned from orbit after a record-breaking mission.

Quantum Computing Is Here! But Also Not Really

Quantum Computing Is Here! But Also Not Really

“We compare it to a Sputnik moment,” Hartmut Neven, the executive who started Google’s quantum program in 2006, told reporters, wearing a silvery jacket and boots apt for the space analogy.

The Quest to Get Photos of the USSR's First Space Shuttle

The Quest to Get Photos of the USSR's First Space Shuttle

On November 15, 1988, the Soviet Union's first space shuttle, the Buran, blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in present-day Kazakhstan.After bedding down in sleeping bags inside the hangar for a few hours, Jonk and his three-man team spent the next two days exploring and photographing the two shuttles.

Facebook Sweetens Deal for Hackers to Catch Security Bugs

Facebook Sweetens Deal for Hackers to Catch Security Bugs

Last year, the company began paying bounties for certain bugs researchers might find in third-party services that integrate with Facebook.“Reports submitted to us thanks to security researchers allow us to learn from their insights," says Dan Gurfinkel, who heads Facebook's bug bounty program.