Hope in violent times

Hello readers, this is Sandra, Backchannel’s executive editor, with this week’s letter. Yesterday afternoon, I was contemplating life and death at the hands of robots: fatal Tesla car crash while driver was on autopilot, robotic mass murderer aid in Dallas and the injuring of a toddler by a security robot patrolling the Stanford Shopping Center. … Read more

Inside Obama’s Tech Raid as it raided the Pentagon and VAT To demoralize government contractors, the US Digital Services is making a glorious strike at VA and Pentagon. USDS Administrator Mikey Dickerson and Vice Administrator Haley Van Dyck. Credit: Maciek Jasik Meet Dominic. This 35-year-old ex-soldier, now living in Maryland, has spent more than a year trying to apply for his medical benefits. […]

Inside Obama’s Tech Raid as it raided the Pentagon and VAT To demoralize government contractors, the US Digital Services is making a glorious strike at VA and Pentagon. USDS Administrator Mikey Dickerson and Vice Administrator Haley Van Dyck. Credit: Maciek Jasik Meet Dominic. This 35-year-old ex-soldier, now living in Maryland, has spent more than a … Read more

Forget Comcast. This is the DIY Method for Internet Access.

As the network grows, the Guifi.net Foundation oversees voluntary and commercial providers. It handles network traffic to and between providers; connection to main data “exchange” provides large amounts of bandwidth between southern Spain and the rest of the world; fiber optic deployment plan; and importantly, systems are developed to ensure that ISPs are paying fairness … Read more

Facebook’s high-flying drone is finally taking off

Subscribe Friday ____ Was ____ our efforts to put news into context. Once a week, we’ll call out a recent headline, provide updates and explain why it’s important.#### It’s been a year since Facebook completed the first full model of Aquila, an Internet-powered, solar-powered drone. Facebook plans to use drones: take the Internet to hard-to-reach … Read more

Thank you for your (US Digital) service

Chris Lynch, head of Defense Digital Services, the USDS outpost in the Pentagon. And yes, he’s wearing a uniform.Dear Backchannelers: Like people in the tech community In addition to Peter Thiel, I (Steven, handling our newsletter this week) have been watching with fear of the wreck on the highway and the fascination of the Republican … Read more

Marsbot is dreaming of you

After nearly a year of development, Foursquare has released a public beta, with the caveat that Marsbot in its present fledgling state is just the appearance of what she will evolve into. “What makes me happy is to build what will last in the future – following the mainstream of the future,” Crowley said. “What … Read more