Here’s an interesting and unprecedented idea from the U.S. Government.
The battle over “platforms” is as frenzied and vital as a presidential campaign. Read more.
In 100 years, historians will probably look back at Stuxnet’s emergence as the Trinity Test for a new age of warfare — a harbinger of danger in an uncertain era. Read more.
A fascinating look into how Stuxnet—a nasty computer virus—shutdown Iran’s uranium enrichment capabilities.
Stuxnet: Anatomy of a Computer Virus
Stuxnet has been called the world’s first weapon made entirely out of code. It is responsible for damaging Iran’s uranium enrichment infrastructure and effectively halting the country’s nuclear program.
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There’s a perverse system of incentives behind the spiraling cost of drug prices.
Amid all the debate about our rising healthcare costs, one thing you almost never hear about is rising drug costs. Think about it: You hear plenty about emergency rooms and chronic care, but nothing about drug prices, which are the main interaction most of us have with the medical industry.
And that’s totally ridiculous.
Seen above: This plant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana manufactures popular brands of paper towels and printer paper. Aerators violently agitate the waste from a pulp mill, turning the liquid to a foam, which makes patterns on the surface.
Photographers have long trained their lenses on the atrocities of war, and even influenced the outcomes of few major battles. J Henry Fair is a member of that politically motivated tribe, though his focus is on the war we seem to be unwittingly waging against our own planet. In the Day After Tomorrow: Images of Our Earth in Crisis, he offers disquieting pictures of environmental disasters. Some have been well-publicized, like the BP oil spill, but Fair reveals the ones that have not received their fair share of media attention, such as the pools of contamination left behind by a rusted, abandoned aluminum refinery.
Click the picture to view a slideshow of selected images from Fair’s new book.
At the Personal Democracy Forum conference in New York City yesterday, the Sunlight Foundation, a D.C. nonprofit fighting for government transparency, unveiled a new Gmail plugin they call Inbox Influence. The nifty little program scans public records to show you the political contributions made or received by the people and organizations who send you emails every day. Is your new boss a Paul Ryan-ite? Is that little “neighborhood” group funded by the Koch brothers? Did your Match.com date write a bunch of checks to Anthony Weiner? Now you can find out!
Technology moves fast, right Congressman?
On May 2, four helicopters carrying two-dozen U.S. Navy SEALs snuck into Pakistan bound for Abottabad, flying low to avoid detection by radar (that was switched off anyway). Leading the way were a pair of Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks modified for extra stealth, including radar-absorbent coatings on their skin and tail rotors with extra blades, dampening the noise. These and other features were borrowed, analysts would later speculate, from the RAH 66 Comanche—a stealth helicopter prototype canceled by the Pentagon in 2004.
You know what happened next: The commandos landed inside Osama bin Laden’s compound before the occupants knew they were there. (Neighbors later reported they didn’t hear the choppers until they were on top of them.) But one of the Black Hawks lost lift upong take off, and clipped its tail on the wall of the compound. The SEALs blew it up before escaping, preventing the top-secret technology from falling into Pakistan’s hands. Or so they thought.
How a split-second stall in a top-secret chopper could lead to a new-and-improved Chinese stealth fighter and greatly alter the international arms race—in four easy steps.
Ladies and Gentleman: Guy Nicolucci
If you haven’t seen this presidential parody of epic proportions yet, doit! Then take a look at this:
What most folks don’t realize—and the Atlantic deftly discovered today—is that Newt Gingrich, whose campaign only launched this week, actually registered “American Solutions for Winning the Future” with the IRS under section 527 of the tax code on October 6, 2006. The group has handled his political ops ever since.
Neal, great article on MMOWGLI. Fascinating. As a partially disabled Army tactical intelligence officer (parachuting accident) who was a paratrooper and Special Forces qualified and served with both infantry and Special Forces units on active duty, I applaud FAST COMPANY for digging in deeply to report on such interesting topics. Thank you so much for writing such a
thought provoking piece. If FAST COMPANY has not done so, you might want to check out what the U.S. Army is doing with “Mirror Imaging”, you might find it equally interesting.
I can assure you that were no Rambos in my SF Group. We were cerebral, highly educated, highly motivated and well trained professionals who loved our nation and all of our fellow countrymen and, for that matter, all innocent people everywhere. I saw a lot of Third World heartache during my intelligence / SF tour in Latin America and got my greatest reward in life by laying my rifle and pistol aside and coordinating medical care and feeding for starving, sick children and their desperate families. Their own governments would have let the starve or shot them down in a heartbeat. Probably Option B. Whew.
I would ask your company to consider checking out www.woundedwarrior.org and deducing the worthiness of that charity. It’s a remarkable one. As an Army veteran with a dysfunctional right arm and right leg, I believe in WWP’s cause wholeheartedly.
Best wishes to you and to all of your colleagues at FC, a fantastic read online, I may just have to go for the print edition, too!
P.S. Chaos creates more customers who need help. Help them, and they’re yours for life. Turmoil is terrific, because terrified customers need to be reassured that help is just an email, phone call or text message away. Unterrify them, and they’re yours for life. Hard times bring out the best in decent and good people who find multiple ways to extend helping hands to those in need of advice and counsel. FAST COMPANY is always jam packed with
thought provoking material. It would be fantastic if your FC brain trust could think about multiple ways to advise your readers how to keep calm and focused and to thrive during times of economic, political and social chaos and turmoil instead of being afraid or paralyzed by such events. It’s really, really easy to look at the massive, unprecedented changes rocking the entire Middle East and wonder in anxiety, “What’s next?” or “What’s
going to happen to my ‘fast company’ next year?”
Chief Creative Officer
Gross Generation Group
The United States Navy has begun crowdsourcing ideas for fighting Somali pirates through a new video game project. The game platform, called MMOWGLI (Massive Multiplayer Online WarGame Leveraging the Internet—not a reference to Jungle Book), is the product of years of research, will include more than 1,000 military and civilian players, and is planned for launch on May 16. It marks the first major effort by the American military to integrate both crowdsourcing and gamification into traditional military wargames.
It was developed by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in order to test the feasibility of using massively multiplayer online games to help solve difficult strategic problems.
More on MMOWGL at the click.