A tour of the government's 'nerd labs'


Behind a lot of the technology we take for granted in our lives—the satellite mapping behind Google Maps, or the voice recognition software behind your iPhone’s Siri—lie not just inventive tech companies, but the sclerotic old federal government. Across the country, Washington funds a network of advanced—sometimes secret, often underappreciated—government laboratories dedicated to blue-sky, “what-the-hell” research at the frontiers of science and technology. ... Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity Established: 2006 Budget: not available Description: This undercover lab, nicknamed “DARPA for spies,” is part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and develops ideas that could give an edge to the U.S. Intelligence community, including tools that can feel straight out of the latest James Bond film.