Elizabeth Sheld

Elizabeth Sheld

Latest News

NSA Seeks to Expand Database

Yesterday, the NSA asked the surveillance court for permission to retain millions of phone records beyond the five-year limit currently imposed on the agency.  The DOJ argued that they need to retain the data as “evidence” because of the privacy

Study: Drone Swarm Can Self-Organize in the Air

A team of Hungarian researchers have created a swarm of ten drones that can “self-organize” in the air.  The project was modeled on birds such as pigeons, “which fly in tight bunches while making adjustments and decisions.” Tamas Vicsek, a

Five Questions for Author Lisa De Pasquale

Lisa De Pasquale, a contributor here at the exclusive Conversation, has just published her first book entitled Finding Mr. Righteous.  Many know Lisa from her years as executive director of CPAC, a job she handled admirably.  Lisa’s latest literary endeavor

New Supersonic Jet Tricked Out with Massive Live-Streaming Screens

New Supersonic Jet Tricked Out with Massive Live-Streaming Screens

Spike Aerospace is building a new supersonic private jet with an innovative addition: live-streaming hi-def screens instead of windows. The S-512’s exterior will be lined with tiny cameras sending footage to thin, curved displays lining the interior walls of the

Study: Termite Robots Build Castles, Pyramids

Robots modeled after termites are able to work independently and build castles according to a study released today in the journal Science. The ‘bots “use just a few simple rules and environmental cues” to construct pyramids and castles.  The “termites”

$99 Drone Company to Sell Plans for 3D Printed Accessories

Extreme Flyer, a company that manufactures and sells $99 toy drones, will sell plans for printing drone accessories on a 3D printer.   “Before, if someone wanted a helicopter or a remote-control toy, they’d go into a store and buy

Meredith Vieira to Fill in for Bob Costas Olympic Coverage

With Bob Costas benched because of an eye infection, NBC is passing the ball to Meredith Vieira for hosting prime time Olympic coverage.  Vieira will replace Matt Lauer who initially took over from Costas. Costas is suffering from complications of

Google Building Robot Army, Gains New Partner

Google has acquired eight different robotics companies in the last year, and has just added a major partner in their quest for a robot army: Foxconn.  The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the “long time Apple manufacturing partner” is

United Arab Emirates to Use Retina-Scanning Drones

United Arab Emirates to Use Retina-Scanning Drones

The United Arab Emirates is looking to use retina-scanning drones to deliver official government documents like drivers licenses.  On Monday, the UAE government revealed a prototype drone and will test it for six months. “Within a year from now we

Parents Turning to Marijuana for Sick Children

Tina DeSilvio is just one of many parents treating their children’s illnesses with marijuana. DeSilvio’s daughter Jenna, ingests marijuana oil several times a day to control her violent seizures.  DeSilvio, who once sat on the Franklin Township school board, says

Starbucks Denies Disabled Vet with Service Dog

According to a disabled Army vet, a Texas Starbucks denied him entry into the coffee establishment because he was accompanied by his service dog “Verbena.” Yancy Baer traveled to Houston from San Antonio on behalf of the national organization Canine

'Dumb Starbucks' Opens in Los Angeles

'Dumb Starbucks' Opens in Los Angeles

A new coffee shop in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles is attracting crowds eager to get some free coffee from the store front named “Dumb Starbucks.” The shop opened on Friday without any fanfare, but lines were long

Latest Jobs Report Shows Decline in Healthcare Sector Employment

The government’s report on Friday showed that job growth was ‘sluggish’ for the month of January and in particular, job growth in the healthcare sector was ‘flat.’ But the rest of the private service sector had a dreadful month. The

FAA Investigating Illegal Drone Use in CT Car Crash Scene

According to Fox Connecticut News, the FAA is investigating the use of a drone flying around the scene of a fatal car crash.  The official Hartford, CT incident detailed the crash events including officers’ statements that a drone was seen

'Swarm Robotics'  Used in Conservation, Agriculture

'Swarm Robotics' Used in Conservation, Agriculture

‘Swarm robotics’ is a growing industry being put to use in creative ways. The concept has been around for decades, but groups of small robots working in teams to complete tasks has come in handy on the conservation and agricultural

Remote-Controlled Robots to Patrol British Art Museum at Night

Remote-Controlled Robots to Patrol British Art Museum at Night

Three artists won a digital arts prize when they proposed to have user-controlled robots roam the Tate Britain museum at night. The IK Prize is awarded annually “to original ideas using digital technology to help connect the Tate collection to a

No Fishing Allowed in Olympic Toilets

No Fishing Allowed in Olympic Toilets

Canadian snowboarder Sebastien Toutant arrived in Russia before the Olympic Games to find a list of rules posted in the bathrooms.  Among forbidden activities is fishing.  Well that’s interesting… Sochi rules in the bathrooms!! #haha #olympics pic.twitter.com/xacSVimwXY — Sebastien Toutant

House Intel Chair Suggests Glenn Greenwald Selling Snowden NSA Docs

House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rodgers accused journalist Glenn Greenwald of selling the material Edward Snowden removed from NSA servers.  The accusations came during a House hearing on global threats to the United States.  “For personal gain, he’s now selling

New Facebook Paper App Getting Rave Reviews

Last week, Facebook released a new app for the Iphone called Facebook Paper. The app is designed to present Facebook in a configuration optimized for a mobile platform.  The product was designed by Creative Labs, a new part of Facebook

New Obamacare Ads Hope to Attract Young Women by Featuring Pets

New Obamacare Ads Hope to Attract Young Women by Featuring Pets

A multimillion dollar Obamacare advertising campaign will feature cats, dogs, and other pets in the hopes that young women will be lured into signing up for Obamacare. USA Today is reporting that Enroll America is launching the ads.  Enroll America

Tech Firms Release Details on NSA Snooping Requests

On Monday, the nation’s largest tech companies began releasing data on the NSA’s requests for customer information.  The data shows that the government requested information on thousands of Americans.  Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Tumbler were allowed to reveal

Helen Mirren Twerks at Harvard

Dame Helen Mirren was presented with the Hasty Pudding “Woman of the Year” award at Harvard University.  To show she was a good sport, Mirren “showed off her twerking skills” to the audience.  “I’ve tried in my bedroom in private,

Clapper: Al-Qaeda Not Really 'On the Run'

Despite President Obama’s claim that “Al-Qaeda is on the run,” the Director of National Intelligence testified on Wednesday he was unable to say the terror threat “is any less” than it was ten years ago.  James Clapper explained that Al-Qaeda

Poll: 81% of DC Residents Approve of Obama's Job Performance

According to a Gallup poll surveying the U.S. States, Obama’s job approval ratings are the highest in the District of Columbia and Hawaii with 81% and 61% respectively approving of the presidents job performance.  Also earning honorable mention is Maryland, neighbor

Poll: Ryan, Bush Lead GOP Line Up in 2016

A new ABC/WaPo poll released today shows that Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Jeb Bush, the former two term governor of Florida, are the front runners on the GOP side of the presidential ticket. To quote pollster Gary Langer, the GOP

FAA Stops Beer Drone Delivery

The Lakemaid micro brewery started delivering beer to ice fishers using drones, at least until the FAA coldly shut their operation down.  The FAA is currently reviewing their policies.   According to the beer company’s president, Jack Supple, “They think

Obama: We Must Move-Off Permanent War-Footing

During tonight’s State of the Union, President Obama informed the country that it needs to move off permanent “war-footing.” Instead we need to build up our foreign partners but provided no further details about what that might look like.  The

Top Seven Celebs at State of the Union

The State of the Union is occasion to make political statements through invited guests almost more so than it is through the speech itself and various responses. This years guest list doesn’t fail to disappoint. Here is a line up

Michelle Obama to Host New GM CEO, Dem Donor Mary Barra at SOTU

Bloomberg BusinessWeek is reporting that newly minted General Motors CEO Mary Barra, the first woman ever to captain an American automaker, will attend tonight’s speech as a guest of Michelle Obama’s: Mary Barra, who took the reins as General Motors

Drone Surveillance Footage Sends Man to Jail

A North Dakota farmer was sentenced to three years in prison after he was located by a border surveillance drone. Rodney Brossart was sentenced to three years in jail after police were able to apprehend him for failing to return

RNC Passes Resolution to Restrict NSA Snooping

The RNC has passed a resolution to restrict the National Security Agency’s data-mining dragnet.  During the winter meeting of the RNC last week, the committee approved a measure that would form a special committee to “to investigate, report, and reveal to

DOJ Claims Fraud Against Firm that Vetted Snowden

United States Investigations Services (USIS) is the private firm that vets individuals who are seeking government employment.  According to court filings, the Justice Department has accused the firm of “bilking millions of dollars through improper background checks.” USIS is the