PBS NewsHour


U.S. Postal Service's financial straits could disrupt daily mail delivery

PBS NewsHour

Postal Service (USPS) crates sit on the floor at the Brookland Post Office in Washington, D.C., U.S. No customer data was stolen in a recent data breach, USPS officials say. Postal Service is warning that it will likely default on up to $6.9 billion in payments for future retiree health benefits for the fifth straight year. It is citing a coming cash crunch that could disrupt day-to-day mail delivery. Postmaster General Megan Brennan stressed an urgent need for federal regulators to grant the Postal Service wide freedom to increase stamp prices to cover costs.


Military leaders get OK to shoot down drones over bases

PBS NewsHour

The Pentagon has sent new guidance to the armed services that lays out the military's authority to disable or shoot down any drone that violates airspace restrictions over a U.S. base and is deemed a security risk. The Pentagon has sent new guidance to the armed services that lays out the military's authority to disable or shoot down any drone that violates airspace restrictions over a U.S. base and is deemed a security risk. He said the new policy provides details about the actions the military can take to stop any threat, including destroying or seizing any unmanned aircraft -- including the smaller ones that the general public can easily buy -- that is flown over a base. He said that the actions taken by military officials at the bases to address a threat posed by a drone could include "incapacitating or destroying them.


The Library of Congress opened its catalogs to the world. Here's why it matters

PBS NewsHour

You would use a library catalog that includes facts – like title, author, publication date, subject headings and genre. But what if you could also experiment with the data in those records to explore other kinds of research questions – like trends in subject matter, semantics in titles or patterns in the geographic source of works on a given topic? Search engines use data about books – like the title, author, publisher, publication date and subject matter – to identify particular books. For example, when the Library of Congress purchased Thomas Jefferson's personal library in 1815, it arranged its collections around Jefferson's personal system organized around the themes of memory, reason and imagination.



How do we invest in the future of humanity? Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom explains

PBS NewsHour

Economics correspondent Paul Solman and Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom discuss existential threats such as nuclear winter and how the biggest threat to humanity may be what we don't yet know. In PBS NewsHour's Thursday Making Sen$e report, Paul speaks with the institute's founding director Nick Bostrom, a Swedish philosopher known for his work on artificial intelligence and existential threats. PAUL SOLMAN: And one area that you yourself have been working on a lot is artificial intelligence, which you've called super intelligence. NICK BOSTROM: I think the greatest existential risks over the coming decades or century arise from certain, anticipated technological breakthroughs that we might make in particular, machine super intelligence, nanotechnology and synthetic biology.


The lionfish zapper hits the open seas

PBS NewsHour

The America's Cup sailing race kicked off this week in Bermuda, but a month ago, a different type of competition was held in the island's lucid waters. A year prior, RISE had formed when Colin Angle, the CEO for iRobot and the maker of the Roomba robotic vacuum, visited friends and marine biologists on Bermuda and they explained how lionfish quickly became king of the Atlantic's coral reefs. The environment is their playground," said Todd McGuire, program director of sustainability organization 11th Hour Racing, which hosted the #EatLionfish Chefs' Throwdown in Bermuda where the Guardian LF1 debuted publicly in mid-April. "We try to promote sustainability at all of the stops along the America's Cup world series and raise awareness about local problems," McGuire said.


At Moogfest, the music revolution will be synthesized

PBS NewsHour

Moogfest, named after inventor Robert Moog, is a celebration of the art, engineering and technology of synthesizers, machines that create sounds electronically. Creative director Emmy Parker says the big idea behind the festival is in the name of the instrument, to synthesize.


Brace yourself: This prosthetic engineer is giving animals a leg up

PBS NewsHour

Derrick Campana kneels beside Angel Marie, a three-legged mini horse who wears a prosthetic leg made by Campana. Campana made the jump to the animal field 12 years ago when few, if any, people created artificial limbs for dogs and other pets. Derrick Campana holds the prosthetic paw he made for Kenna, a three year-old golden retriever born without a front paw. Derrick Campana holds the molds for prosthetic legs he made for two Thai elephants who lost limbs in landmine explosions.