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The US Air Force Denied Our Request For The List Of Crowdsourced Names For Its New B-21 Bomber

Back in May, the US Air Force announced that they had received over 4,600 entries in their crowdsourced naming contest for the new B-21 bomber. The announcement even said that they’d narrowed it down to 15 finalists. So, naturally, I did what any weirdo blogger does: I filed a Freedom of Information Act request to see the list. Today I got a letter from the US Air Force officially denying my request.


Why Climate Scientists Are So Intrigued By The Brutal Sea Voyages Of The 19th Century

Life aboard a ship in the 18th or 19th century — especially in the far north or south — was treacherous. Now, the records of these brutal voyages are playing a surprising role in scientists’ efforts to understand the future of the planet.


A Clever Lamp That Requires No Batteries, Outlets Or Sun

About a billion people live without electricity, and they often turn to kerosene lamps: ultra dangerous, carcinogen-spouting, open flames that could turn homes into tinderboxes. So a new Indiegogo campaign’s out to provide safe, reusable lights that need zero outside energy sources.


9 Designs That Could Finally Replace New Zealand's Controversial Flag

When New Zealand first raised its current flag, its design deferred to its United Kingdom rulers and bore a striking resemblance to another British colony next door. 100 years later, New Zealand is a diverse, sovereign nation which would also very much like to visually differentiate itself from the Aussies. So New Zealand is looking to its citizens for ideas.


Google Deploys Person Finder Tool To Aid Victims Of Nepal Earthquake

As reports of the devastation from this morning’s earthquake in Nepal continue to roll in, Google has launched Person Finder, a crowdsourced, missing persons database to help victims of the quake track down their loved ones.


William Shatner Is Crowdsourcing Ideas For His Bonkers Drought Plan

Hey, we’ve all got ideas to save California from its cataclysmic drought. Stop fracking! Stop showering! Stop eating! But none of us is William Shatner: Enterprise captain, Priceline spokesperson, Twitter watchdog, and probably, definitely, most certainly not a water expert. This is not preventing him from proposing a $US30 billion solution, including a crowdsourcing website to find the best way to do it.


Tor Doesn't Want To Depend On US Government Money Anymore

Tor is transforming. The anonymity service is making a concerted effort to find funding sources other than the United States government, a problematic sugar daddy that’s bankrolled Tor for years.


LA Police Want To Use Crowdsourced Photos To Solve Crimes

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has launched a new website and companion mobile app that allows people who are witnesses to large emergencies can submit photo or video evidence they might have recorded. On the surface, it sounds like a good idea — but like all mass information collection, the idea has a dark side.


This GIF Shows How Impossible It Is To Find A Plane In The Pacific

The Pacific Ocean is very, very big. Aeroplanes are big too — but, compared to the Pacific Ocean, they are almost comically small. So, as rescuers finish up a week of searching unsuccessfully for Malaysia Air Flight 370, it’s worth taking a second to marvel at what an impossible a task it is to find one little plane in that very big ocean.


Now You Can Help Search For The Missing Malaysian Airlines Flight

The Boeing 777 that seemed to disappear into thin air last weekend has still not been found after five days of search and rescue. Now a crowdsourcing company has started a campaign where anyone can pore over satellite images to find traces of Flight 370 or its 239 passengers.


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