Two percent of the taxes we pay in the United States go towards funding scientific research, and the government has decided that you get to have a look at it.
The White House has a website where citizens can create petitions that "call for action on a range of issues facing our nation." Here's one: we don't have a Death Star. Now that a petition to build one has 25,000 signatures, it's up to the White House to either get to work, or tell us why this is not the best idea ever.
Tuesday brought a ton of news with it. Outside of the Presidential election and the return of the Master Chief, Puerto Rico (non-bindingly) voted to become the 51st State in the Union. While Puerto Rico's ascension to statehood isn't guaranteed, Reddit has been buzzing with flag designs to welcome the 51st star.
It's a radical idea, but what would the United States look like without its current system dominated by Democrats and Republicans? To some, it may sound like an unthinkable change. To others, it's inevitable that the landscape will be altered. Sergey Brin sides with the latter, as he's calling for U.S. politicians to shed their red or blue trappings.
Editor's Note: With the election over, this article is now out of date. However, many of the tools here go beyond yesterday's vote, and are well worth checking out. Our original post follows. Media old and new is out in force to cover today's U.S. presidential election. That means there's a lot of noise, too, so we've rounded up the most engaging tools of what we've found for your perusal this election. If you haven't cast your vote, there's still time, and these tools will help you. Even political agnostics will have something to celebrate tonight: all of those obnoxious ads will finally be over. I think we can all agree on how good that news is.
Americans will spend the next few weeks angrily debating whether they should pull a little lever marked "D" or "R." Hope everyone has fun with that. However, if current trends hold true, deciding who heads the executive branch of even this most powerful nation in the world may one day be as quaint as that old question: "Blu-ray or HD-DVD?" As technology improves, governments become less necessary. This is true. In fact, we may right now be seeing the signs of a wholly post-patriotic world. Sound out there? It's not unthinkable.
Tumblr, detecting an acute sense of election fatigue, has brought together an Avengers-style elite group of GIF-makers to cover the three upcoming presidential debates, as well as the singular vice presidential debate. This group of professional GIF-makers will assemble at gifwich.tumblr.com at the prescribed times to cover the political bloodshed.
As well as Skype seems to be doing these days, the company has recently lost its Ethiopian audience since using the program there (or any other similar services) could land you in prison for fifteen years.
It's not completely illegal for law enforcement to get your cellphone records from wireless carriers without a warrant. So, they do it. And wireless carriers seem happy to comply, perhaps because they get to charge lots of money every time someone asks for something, and the ACLU has found out how much money this is.
The Internet is abuzz over reports of companies demanding total Facebook access as part mandatory background checks for employment. Several claims have surfaced that some employers go beyond just snooping through a person's public profile, requesting their password as well. New information at the end of the article.