Lawmakers Need To Learn More About Encryption Before Regulating It, Says U.S. House Report
By Lucian Armasu
House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) have proposed the formation of a “Digital Security Commission” that brings together all stakeholders to further explore this issue for another year, before recommending policies and legislation to Congress. However, it’s not clear whether this type of commission can find an ideal solution, likely because it will mostly be interested in finding a “balance” between law enforcement needs and data protection needs. The type of policies that will be proposed will also likely depend on the makeup of the commission. If too few stakeholders that care about privacy or data protection are invited to be part of it, then chances are the commission won’t decide policies that would be too much in favor of stronger privacy.
Walmart Is Testing A Robot Shopping Cart, So You Can Do The Job Of Low-Wage Workers
By Charlie Sorrel
The cart is called the Dash, and it does a lot more than just following you around, pushing itself.The Dash (slogan: "Changing the face of the shopping experience") comes from Five Elements Robotics and is being evaluated by Walmart for possible in-store use. The auto-cart actually guides you around the store, helping you to find the products on your list, and then takes your groceries out to the car park, where you can load up your cargo bike.
Tesla’s Autopilot Has Had Its First Fatal Crash
By Alex Davies
A Tesla Model S driver using the car’s semi-autonomous Autopilot feature died when the car hit an 18-wheeler, the first known fatality involving technology that remains in beta testing. The collision occurred May 7 when the big-rig made a left turn in from of the Model S at an intersection on a divided highway in Williston, Florida. “Neither Autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied” and the car drove under the trailer, the automaker said.
SUSTAINABILITY & ENVIRONMENT
Why Chicago Is Becoming The Country’s Urban Farming Capital
By Jeff Link
When you walk into Farmed Here’s 90,000-square-foot warehouse in Bedford Park, a sleepy industrial outpost about 15 miles southwest of Chicago, you might not immediately register that you're standing in the second coming of the locavore movement. But then you get inside and smell basil—along with baby greens, broccoli, and kale—all of it bathed in the purple fluorescence of LED light and stacked seven racks high in a massive hydroponic system that pumps soybean- and kelp-infused water through a temperature- and humidity-controlled system, nearly 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
‘Houston, We Have a Problem’: 4 Ways Climate Change Impacts Texas
You know the saying. “Everything’s bigger in Texas.” Unfortunately, it applies to climate change in Texas as well. With a super-sized state, the impacts of climate change are bigger and badder than in the other 49. In fact, Texas experienced 75 weather and climate disasters between 1980 and 2015, each of which produced at least a billion dollars in losses (across the states in which they impacted), more than any other state. Here’s what global warming means for the Lone Star State. In other words, “Houston, we have a problem.”
MIT Confirms the Ozone Hole is Healing
Scientists from MIT confirm that the hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica has shrunken by about 4 million square kilometers. This proves that the worldwide boycott of CFCs is yielding positive results, seen almost 30 years after the Montreal Protocol of 1987.
LABOR, TRADE, & ECONOMY
Four million children are living in poverty: how do we stop this?
By Madeleine Ellis-Petersen
New Economics Foundation
As the United Kingdom country is gripped by the aftershocks of Brexit and the governing party is preoccupied with a leadership race in which the two front runners are millionaires, we should note that almost 4 million children in our country are growing up in poverty. On Tuesday, the government released figures revealing that the number of children living in poverty in the United Kingdom increased by 200,000 over the past year to 3.9 million. 66% of these children now live in working families (up from 64% last year).
Elizabeth Warren wants the government to crack down on technology giants
By Matthew Yglesias
In an electric June 29 speech delivered at the New America Foundation, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts threw her rising political weight and prestige behind an idea that’s been bubbling beneath the surface of the Obama-era Democratic Party for several years: The United States needs a revived and reinvigorated antitrust policy. The Obama administration itself shares—and to some extent has driven, via a Council of Economic Advisers report and some executive actions—the analysis that the American economy suffers from a shortfall of competition.
Meet the Woman Who Pushed Massachusetts Toward the First Carbon Fee in U.S. History
By Eben Bein
S.1747 would make Massachusetts the first state in the nation to collect fees from fossil fuel companies for importing fossil fuels into the state. The funds raised would be redistributed among the citizenry and local businesses to compensate for increased prices. It’s a method for combating climate change now backed by both conservative and liberal economists.
GLOBAL CONFLICT & DEVELOPMENT
Internet Access Is Now A Basic Human Right
By Carli Velocci
People may joke that others spend too much time on the internet, but this intricate series of tubes has become an important part of everyday life—so much so that it’s become a human rights violation to take it away. That’s according to the United Nations Human Rights Council, which passed a non-binding resolution in June that condemns countries that intentionally take away or disrupt its citizens’ internet access.
Drone Strike Statistics Answer Few Questions, and Raise Many
By Scott Shane
The New York Times
The promise of the armed drone has always been precision: The United States could kill just the small number of dangerous terrorists it wanted to kill, leaving nearby civilians unharmed. But the Obama administration’s unprecedented release last week of statistics on counterterrorism strikes underscored how much more complicated the results of the drone program have been. It showed that even inside the government, there is no certainty about whom it has killed. And it highlighted the skepticism with which official American claims on targeted killing are viewed by human rights groups and independent experts, including those who believe the strikes have eliminated some very dangerous people.
The Problem with Brexit: 21st Century Challenges Require International Cooperation
Future of Life Institute
The UK’s referendum in favor of leaving the EU and the rise of nationalist ideologies in the US and Europe is worrying on multiple fronts. Nationalism espoused by the likes of Donald Trump (US), Nigel Farage (UK), Marine Le Pen (France), and Heinz-Christian Strache (Austria) may lead to a resurgence of some of the worst problems of the first half of 20th century. These leaders are calling for policies that would constrain trade and growth, encourage domestic xenophobia, and increase rivalries and suspicion between countries. Even more worrying, however, is the bigger picture. In the 21st century, our greatest challenges will require global solutions. Retreating from international institutions and cooperation will handicap humanity’s ability to address our most pressing upcoming challenges.
At 150, KKK sees opportunities in US political trends
By Jay Reeves
Born in the ashes of the smoldering South after the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan died and was reborn before losing the fight against civil rights in the 1960s. Membership dwindled, a unified group fractured, and one-time members went to prison for a string of murderous attacks against blacks. Many assumed the group was dead, a white-robed ghost of hate and violence. Yet today, the KKK is still alive and dreams of restoring itself to what it once was: an invisible white supremacist empire spreading its tentacles throughout society. As it marks 150 years of existence, the Klan is trying to reshape itself for a new era.
Zore X is a smart gun lock that raised almost $250K on Indiegogo
By Jordan Crook
An unlocked gun can ruin more than one life. In fact, The Trace reports that toddlers shot an average of one person per week for the 2015 year, often injuring or killing themselves, because they were able to get on their hands on a gun. Zore, like many new products on the market, aims to change all that.
What the 1880s tell us about why the rich are moving to cities today
By Emily Badger
The Washington Post
Wealthy, college-educated residents with the budget to bid up home prices are increasingly turning up in the center of major American cities, driving a generation-long shift in demand for downtown living. The trend is notable for what preceded it: For decades, until about 1990, people with options largely dodged city centers. But if you look much further back in history, an interesting pattern emerges. More than a century ago, before the rise of electric streetcars, the Model T and modern suburbs, the rich lived in the hearts of cities and the working class farther out. We are, perhaps, returning to that old pattern. Or, to think of history another way: What made downtowns desirable to the rich more than a century ago may help explain what makes them appealing to this same group again today.