1700 posts tagged with Technology.
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“You cannot really calculate the loss of consumer trust in money.”

A Bad Week for Samsung [The New York Times] “Samsung Electronics is killing its troubled Galaxy Note 7 [wiki] smartphone, a humbling about-face for the South Korean giant and its global brand. In an unprecedented move, the company will no longer produce or market the smartphones. The demise of the Galaxy Note 7 is a major setback for Samsung, the world’s largest maker of smartphones. The premium device — with a 5.7-inch screen, curved contours and comparatively high price — won praise from consumers and reviewers, and was the company’s most ambitious effort yet to take on Apple for the high-end market.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Oct 11, 2016 - 129 comments

Classifying Voice

Freedom of speech in the digital age - "Speech that disseminates ideas is more valuable than speech whose purpose is to intimidate others." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Oct 10, 2016 - 26 comments

"So we made it out of plywood"

The hardest part of writing a show in the '80s isn't getting music clearance or convincing actors to get those haircuts -- it's finding the right tech (or at least, making it look right). [more inside]
posted by Etrigan on Oct 4, 2016 - 68 comments

“Genius is the recovery of childhood at will.”

ARTS MacArthur Foundation Announces 2016 ‘Genius’ Grant Winners [The New York Times] This year’s winners of the MacArthur fellowships, awarded for exceptional “originality, insight and potential,” and publicly announced on Thursday, include writers, visual artists, scientists, nonprofit organization leaders and others, who are chosen at a moment when the recognition and money — a no-strings-attached grant of $625,000 distributed over five years — will make a difference. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Sep 22, 2016 - 39 comments

New energy transitions: Tipping point for self-organized criticality?

Electric vehicles – It's not just about the car - "One of the key characteristics of complex systems, such as the world's energy and transport sectors, is that when they change it tends not to be a linear process. They flip from one state to another in a way strongly analogous to a phase change in material science... A second important characteristic of this type of economic phase change is that when one major sector flips, the results rip through the whole economy and can have impacts on the societal scale." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 9, 2016 - 58 comments

Dataism: Getting out of the 'job loop' and into the 'knowledge loop'

From deities to data - "For thousands of years humans believed that authority came from the gods. Then, during the modern era, humanism gradually shifted authority from deities to people... Now, a fresh shift is taking place. Just as divine authority was legitimised by religious mythologies, and human authority was legitimised by humanist ideologies, so high-tech gurus and Silicon Valley prophets are creating a new universal narrative that legitimises the authority of algorithms and Big Data." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 7, 2016 - 45 comments

Auditing Algorithms and Algorithmic Auditing

How big data increases inequality and threatens democracy - "A former academic mathematician and ex-hedge fund quant exposes flaws in how information is used to assess everything from creditworthiness to policing tactics, with results that cause damage both financially and to the fabric of society. Programmed biases and a lack of feedback are among the concerns behind the clever and apt title of Cathy O'Neil's book: Weapons of Math Destruction." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 6, 2016 - 61 comments

“I think we’ve reached peak iPhone,”

Will the New Apple iPhone Have a Headphone Jack? Rumormongers Say It Won’t [The New York Times] “When the latest iPhone is unveiled here on Wednesday in a 7,000-seat auditorium, it probably will instead be more like Christmas for a sneaky 10-year-old who long ago peeked at his present. Thanks. That’s it? Anyone who cares enough about the iPhone to know that a new model is being released this month already knows what it is supposed to be like: a little thinner, a little faster and equipped with superior cameras on the Plus model. By far the most controversial feature, however, is the one that will be missing: a headphone jack. A standard element of technology that can be traced back to 1878 and the invention of the manual telephone exchange, the jack is apparently going the way of the floppy disk and the folding map. The future will be wireless.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Sep 5, 2016 - 399 comments

Painting the Race to Space

Norman Rockwell, Walt Disney, Wernher von Braun, space habitats and moon landings - the improbable, bold history of space concept art.
posted by Artw on Sep 5, 2016 - 10 comments

Tor’s Branding Pivot is Going to Get Someone Killed

Recently The Tor Project changed their mission statement and social contract, including language about explicitly supporting human rights. Virgil Griffith argues that this is dangerous for exactly those users whose human rights are threatened: “the ‘Human Rights Watch for Nerds’ branding gives decidedly-unfriendly-and-opportunistic-authorities full license to do as they please with Tor operators or anyone who uses Tor.” [more inside]
posted by Rangi on Sep 4, 2016 - 19 comments

"They didn't want people to become too happy with receiving food relief"

"Whatever [the ingredients] taste like together is not particularly relevant." Terry Gross interviews married culinary historians Jane Ziegelman and Andy Coe on the culinary history of the Great Depression and their new book 'A Square Meal' (37:00 audio, transcribed sections)
posted by The Whelk on Aug 27, 2016 - 50 comments

Colloquially known as the 'underboob selfie'

As Thailand is discovering, the smartphone — for all its indispensability as a tool of business and practicality — is also a bearer of values; it is not a culturally neutral device. And if digital imperialism is happening — if smartphones and other gadgets are bearing cultural freight as they cross borders — there is little doubt as to which nation’s values are hiding in the hold.
posted by Sebmojo on Aug 16, 2016 - 17 comments

The Moral Machine

The Moral Machine: Welcome to the moral machine! - you are a self-driving car, unfortunately something has gone horribly wrong - who put that wall there? Regrettably, you are now about to crash and must choose the lesser of two evils. Do you kill your passengers or that old lady and her cute little doggy crossing the road? - A new MIT project provides a public exploration of the kinds of trolley problem style dilemma's that self-driving cars may have to face and allows us to compare our shared moral intuitions.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory on Aug 8, 2016 - 70 comments

Smart Dust Is Here

Engineers Create The First Dust-Sized Wireless Sensors That Can Be Implanted Into The Human Body. Relevant paper here.
posted by StrikeTheViol on Aug 6, 2016 - 70 comments

😢 [single-tear emoji]

Top 10 least-loved emojis [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Aug 5, 2016 - 90 comments

Social divide stays in online learning

BBC: "There are strong social divisions in how young people use digital technology, according to international research from the OECD. The economics think tank found that in many countries wealthy and poor pupils spent similar amounts of time online. But richer youngsters were much more likely to use the internet for learning rather than games. The study argues that even with equal access to technology a "digital divide" persists in how the internet is used.""
posted by marienbad on Jul 26, 2016 - 25 comments


In the first quarter of 2016 according to the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, L.E.D.-lamp shipments in the U.S. were up three hundred and seventy-five per cent over last year, taking more than a quarter of the market for the first time in history. This would seem to be a good thing, but building bulbs to last turns out to pose a vexing problem: no one seems to have a sound business model for such a product.
posted by theodolite on Jul 14, 2016 - 88 comments

“We built voice modulation to mask gender in technical interviews.”

interviewing.io is a platform where people can practice technical interviewing anonymously and find jobs based on their interview performance. Women historically haven’t performed as well as men—specifically, men were getting advanced to the next round 1.4 times more often than women, and had a 20% higher average technical score from interviewers. In an attempt to erase this difference, interviewing.io added voice modulation to their online interviews.
posted by Rangi on Jul 11, 2016 - 15 comments

Autism, employment and tech

"Autism is seen like some sort of mental superpower where we can see math in the air. In my experience, this isn’t really the case." - Dispelling some myths about the autistic wunderkind programmer. Also: Why you might not want to get TOO excited about autism employment initiatives. Autism FAQ
posted by Artw on Jul 10, 2016 - 29 comments

All they need to know is this is the coolest thing they'll see all year

This robot stingray is powered by genetically engineered rat heart cells. It has an elastomer body and a stiff gold skeleton. Rat heart cells are grown in a specific pattern on the underside, and are activated by pulses of light -- allowing the robot to be remote controlled as it navigates through a liquid with suspended nutrients that keep the cells alive. More details from Science. Even Popular Mechanics doesn't need to do much sensationalizing to this story.
posted by cubby on Jul 7, 2016 - 12 comments

Track Changes

Matthew Kirschenbaum talks to The Atlantic about his book on the history of word processing, what early word processing looked like, early adopter Len Deighton, and how writers of all kinds adapted to the new technology.
posted by Artw on Jul 2, 2016 - 28 comments

Make sure you’re solving the right problem

"How does an apparently intelligent person end up suggesting a solution that might, at best, constitute unethical medical experiments on prisoners? How does a well-meaning person suggest a remedy that likely constitutes torture?" -- Are the questions Ethan Zuckerman asks, triggered by a particularly dumb article on using Soylent Green and Oculus Rift in prison reform, using it as a kick off point to discuss the wider problem of techno optimism and the inevitable reaction it brings.
posted by MartinWisse on Jun 25, 2016 - 104 comments


The Economic Lessons of Star Trek's Money-Free Society - "[Manu Saadia] points to technologies like GPS and the internet as models for how we can set ourselves on the path to a Star Trek future. 'If we decide as a society to make more of these crucial things available to all as public goods, we're probably going to be well on our way to improving the condition of everybody on Earth', he says. But he also warns that technology alone won't create a post-scarcity future... 'This is something that has to be dealt with on a political level, and we have to face that.' " (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 21, 2016 - 102 comments

The Uncanny Mind That Built Ethereum

Vitalik Buterin invented the world's hottest new cryptocurrency and inspired a movement — before he'd turned 20 - "I think a large part of the consequence is necessarily going to be disempowering some of these centralized players to some extent because ultimately power is a zero sum game. And if you talk about empowering the little guy, as much as you want to couch it in flowery terminology that makes it sound fluffy and good, you are necessarily disempowering the big guy. And personally I say screw the big guy. They have enough money already." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 16, 2016 - 62 comments

The lasting legacy of the "rocket girls" of JPL

California-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has been central to the US missile and rocket development and operations for decades, and from the beginning that technology's success rested on a corps of expert mathematicians, people known as computers. And from the beginning they were all women, in a time when such opportunities were few and far between. You can find pictures of them, but names have not been well-recorded ... until now. Nathalia Holt found many of those women and wrote about their experiences in her book, Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 15, 2016 - 22 comments

Replace all your Esses with Dollar-signs

Microsoft to Acquire LinkedIn: at $26.2 Billion (!) this will be Microsoft's largest acquisition ever. They'll be "issuing new debt" to fund it. Shares appear to have jumped. The shade begins
posted by aspersioncast on Jun 13, 2016 - 119 comments

Are you a Sim?

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posted by iamfantastikate on Jun 10, 2016 - 98 comments

2001: A Picasso Odyssey

2001: A Picasso Odyssey - '2001' rendered in the style of Picasso using Deep Neural Networks based style transfer. More details.
posted by Artw on Jun 8, 2016 - 28 comments

The Outernet

For 60% of humanity, the Internet as we know it does not exist, so we built a new way to share information. [more inside]
posted by Michael Tellurian on Jun 5, 2016 - 27 comments

Everyone has their own little story (haul away)

"America's Richest Self-Made Women": article by Luisa Kroll / dynamic view with grouping by theme / list [Forbes]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jun 1, 2016 - 13 comments

"incredibly unethical and creepy"

A Boston advertiser's technology, when deployed by anti-choice groups, allows those groups to send propaganda directly to a woman’s phone while she is in a clinic waiting room.
posted by still_wears_a_hat on May 31, 2016 - 40 comments

Pirates in Shanghai

After watching the on-ride video of POTC, your first thought may have been the same as mine: “How did they do that?”
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 25, 2016 - 14 comments

Sapiens 2.0: Homo Deus?

In his follow-up to Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari envisions what a 'useless class' of humans might look like as AI advances and spreads - "I'm aware that these kinds of forecasts have been around for at least 200 years, from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and they never came true so far. It's basically the boy who cried wolf, but in the original story of the boy who cried wolf, in the end, the wolf actually comes, and I think that is true this time." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 24, 2016 - 23 comments

“...tapping and talking, browsing and clicking, scrolling and swiping.”

How Technology Is Changing Our Hands by Darian Leader [The Guardian] Doctors predict that our increasing use of computers and mobile phones will permanently alter our hands. What will this mean for the way we touch, feel and communicate? [more inside]
posted by Fizz on May 21, 2016 - 34 comments

Where does technology exploit our minds weaknesses?

How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist (Medium, 12min) I learned to think this way when I was a magician. Magicians start by looking for blind spots, edges, vulnerabilities and limits of people’s perception, so they can influence what people do without them even realizing it. Once you know how to push people’s buttons, you can play them like a piano. [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave on May 20, 2016 - 33 comments

The connected vagina

The first rule of menstruation etiquette is you don’t talk about menstruation, particularly to men. If you must discuss your period you do so quietly and euphemistically. When you’re surfing the crimson wave and have to go to the bathroom, you make sure your period paraphernalia is carefully concealed so people remain clueless about your condition. The biggest breach of menstrual etiquette, however, is leaking in public. [more inside]
posted by moody cow on May 18, 2016 - 83 comments

“Malware, phishing campaigns, DDoS attacks are all things I have seen,”

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About How ISIS Uses The Internet by Sheera Frenkel [Buzzfeed] They talk on Telegram and send viruses to their enemies. BuzzFeed News’ Sheera Frenkel looks at how ISIS members and sympathizers around the world use the internet to grow their global network. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on May 14, 2016 - 28 comments

Check in with the velociraptor at the world’s first robot hotel

Japan has a national gift for holding in balance the stateliness of tradition and the marvel of novelty. So it ought to come as no surprise that on the western margin of the archipelago, on a serene bay in a remote area of the Nagasaki Prefecture, there is an enormous theme park dedicated to the splendors of imperial Holland. It follows with perfect logic that the historical theme park’s newest lodging place is the world’s first hotel staffed by robots.
posted by ellieBOA on May 13, 2016 - 12 comments

Where Did It All Go Wrong?

Free Basics: Facebook's Biggest Setback From Zuckerberg’s vantage point, high above the connected world he had helped create, India was a largely blank map. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on May 12, 2016 - 48 comments

Redefining Wealth and Prosperity in the 21st Century

Kennedy was right - "Much that is valuable is neither tangible nor tradable... Gross domestic product (GDP) is increasingly a poor measure of prosperity. It is not even a reliable gauge of production."* [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 11, 2016 - 10 comments

Vacillating mind inputs through text and video from Al Fry

Al Fry is an old-school eccentric, mostly from the pre-internet days. He lives (or lived) out in Idaho, which was his home-base for distributing Fry's Incredible Inquiry's Catalog, covering "technology, alchemy, weird science (PDF), Tesla, anti-gravity, occult, crystal power, and other fascinating fringy topics." And then there are his videos, including Hidden World History and Strange Beings 1, narrated by A. H. Fry himself. His videos have been collected a few times over on YouTube (1, 2). And he has written about making tipis.
posted by filthy light thief on May 10, 2016 - 8 comments


World After Capital by Albert Wenger [Work in Progress; GitHub; GitBook; PDF; FAQ] - "Technological progress has shifted scarcity for humanity. When we were foragers, food was scarce. During the agrarian age, it was land. Following the industrial revolution, capital became scarce. With digital technologies scarcity is shifting from capital to attention. World After Capital suggests ways to expand economic, informational and psychological freedom to go from an industrial to a knowledge society." (previously)
posted by kliuless on May 7, 2016 - 23 comments

Manus x Machina

Met Ball 2016 - it's a bit technical.
posted by Artw on May 2, 2016 - 16 comments

Technology would be the rock and roll of the ’90s

Step Behind the Scenes of the Frantic, Madcap Birth of Wired Magazine: “We’re trying to make a magazine that feels as if it has been mailed back from the future.”
posted by Drinky Die on May 2, 2016 - 13 comments

“Right now, we have a reed, not a stick,”

Texting and Driving? Watch Out for the Textalyzer [The New York Times] The most provocative idea, from lawmakers in New York, is to give police officers a new device that is the digital equivalent of the Breathalyzer — a roadside test called the Textalyzer. It would work like this: An officer arriving at the scene of a crash could ask for the phones of any drivers involved and use the Textalyzer to tap into the operating system to check for recent activity.
posted by Fizz on May 2, 2016 - 171 comments

Indistinguishable from magic

20+ drones; 16,500 LEDs; 3 shamisen players; 1 Mt. Fuji: Filmmaker Tsuyoshi Takashiro orchestrates a performance combining drones and the Oyamakai shamisen ensemble.
posted by wintersweet on May 1, 2016 - 13 comments

Chatbots: Next Big Thing or Cash Grab?

At the Facebook F8 conference, Mark Zuckerberg announced that businesses would build chatbots on the Messenger platform, bringing the already strong hype around chatbots to a fever pitch. Chatbots, some argue, are the solution for all our problems. But are chatbots really the solution for everything? Or is it just an attempt to have a "next big thing" in order to generate more cash? [more inside]
posted by rednikki on Apr 27, 2016 - 45 comments

Reinvent Yourself

We’re approaching a point where technological progress will become so fast that everyday human intelligence will be unable to follow it. The Playboy Interview with Ray Kurzweil.
posted by T.D. Strange on Apr 26, 2016 - 83 comments

Why are our cars painted such boring colors?

They’re all white and silver. Cars used to be poppy red! Tangerine! Pea green! [SLSlate, 2011]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Apr 24, 2016 - 115 comments

“There was big hype over the video, the stream had a good 2.8K views,”

When Rape Is Broadcast Live On The Internet by Rossalyn Warren [Buzzfeed News] Sexual assault, domestic abuse, and attempted murder are among the crimes recently captured on live video services. BuzzFeed News uncovered one apparent incident of a rape aired in real time and asked what it means for the companies that host this content. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Apr 21, 2016 - 91 comments

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