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What Fearmongers Get Wrong About Cyberwarfare

  • By
  • Evgeny Morozov,
  • New America Foundation
May 29, 2012 |

Should we worry about cyberwarfare? Judging by excessively dramatic headlines in the media, very much so. Cyberwarfare, the argument goes, might make wars easier to start and thus more likely.

What Economists Get Wrong About Science and Technology

  • By
  • Konstantin Kakaes,
  • New America Foundation
May 17, 2012 |

Robert Solow, winner of the 1987 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, is famous for, in the recent words of a high-ranking State Department official, “showing that technological innovation was responsible for over 80 percent of economic growth in the United States between 1909 and 1949.” Or as Frank Lichtenberg of Columbia University’s business school has written, “In his seminal 1956 paper, Robert Solow showed that technical progress is necessary for there to be sustained growth in output per hour worked.”

Giving Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Cars Another Chance

  • By
  • Steve LeVine,
  • New America Foundation
May 17, 2012 |

Three years ago, the Obama administration abandoned another of its predecessor's central tenets—that the future of vehicle propulsion was zero-emission hydrogen fuel cells. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, backed by Obama, instead launched an aggressive program to develop a new generation of high-performance batteries, the factories in which to manufacture them, and the vehicles they would power.

Why Computers Still Can’t Translate Languages Automatically

  • By
  • Konstantin Kakaes,
  • New America Foundation
May 11, 2012 |

Recently, on the eighth floor of an office building in Arlington, Va., Rachel held her finger down on a Dell Streak touchscreen and asked Aziz whether he knew the village elder.

Machines Shouldn’t Grade Student Writing—Yet

  • By
  • Dana Goldstein,
  • New America Foundation
May 9, 2012 |

In 2002, Indiana rolled out computer scoring of its 11th grade state writing exam. At the time, ETS, the company that developed Indiana’s software, said automatic writing assessment could help cut the state’s testing budget in half. But by 2007, Indiana had abandoned the practice.

Islamo-Foolish

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
May 7, 2012 |

Among the cache of documents that the SEALs captured during their raid of Osama Bin Laden’s compound last year, one in particular should make many Republican foreign-policy advisers reassess their whole approach to the “war on terror.”

It’s the letter—No. 9 of the 17 missives that the administration released this week through West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center—in which Bin Laden discusses what he calls the “very important matter” of changing the name of al-Qaida.

The Gypsies Are Coming to America

  • By
  • Torie Bosch,
  • New America Foundation
May 3, 2012 |

When the United States attempts to makes its own versions of hit U.K. shows, we always seem to fail (The Office notwithstanding). America’s Got Talent has given us no Susan Boyle equivalent, and we remember the mercifully short-lived U.S. Coupling primarily as a cautionary tale. And so it was with trepidation that I learned that my precious My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, a British reality show highlighting the over-the-top celebrations, traditional gender roles, and midriffs of the U.K.’s Romany Gypsies and Irish travelers, was due for an American makeover.

Programs:

Can Your Preschooler Learn Anything From an iPad App?

  • By
  • Lisa Guernsey,
  • New America Foundation
May 2, 2012 |

No more plopping preschoolers in front of videos to “zone out.” With the emergence of touchscreen tablets and e-readers, screen time has become interactive—and thus less guilt-inducing for parents who need a short break. Every purposeful swipe of our children’s fingers seems to offer a reassuring signal that their minds are at work, contemplating what to do next.

Barack Obama Killed Osama Bin Laden. Period.

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
May 1, 2012 |

The Republicans have glommed on to a neat rhetorical trick: When Barack Obama does something indisputably admirable or effective, simply pretend that he had nothing to do with it.

This ploy was first trotted out in the aftermath of Moamar Qaddafi’s downfall in Libya, when Obama’s former presidential rival, Sen. John McCain, gave all the credit to the French.

Why Hillary Clinton Should Join Anonymous

  • By
  • Evgeny Morozov,
  • New America Foundation
April 23, 2012 |

It's hard to deny the intellectual ambiguity of “Internet freedom” when among its staunchest defenders are idealistic hacktivists from Anonymous and hard-nosed diplomats from the U.S. State Department—two groups that otherwise disagree on everything else. Ironically, both may end up hurting the very noble cause that they seek to promote.

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