This sheer quantity is in itself something new. All future histories of modern language will be written from a position of explicit and overwhelming information — a story not of darkness and silence but of data, and of the verbal outpourings of billions of lives. Where once words were written by the literate few on behalf of the many, now every phone and computer user is an author of some kind. And — separated from human voices — the tasks to which typed language, or visual language, is being put are steadily multiplying. [more inside]
Are coders worth it? We call ourselves web developers, software engineers, builders, entrepreneurs, innovators. We’re celebrated, we capture a lot of wealth and attention and talent. We’ve become a vortex on a par with Wall Street for precocious college grads. But we’re not making the self-driving car. We’re not making a smarter pill bottle. Most of what we’re doing, in fact, is putting boxes on a page. Users put words and pictures into one box; we store that stuff in a database; and then out it comes into another box.
This video is a sample of many of the amazing new CG technologies developed over the past year, featured at SIGGRAPH 2013. The video shows things like flowing water, cloth, bouncing blobs, realistic hair, and on-the-fly generation. Previous years' videos inside! [more inside]
The year was 1986, and Lynda had just joined a small cadre of female engineers working for FI, a groundbreaking IT firm that laid the foundations for outsourced development and women’s rights in the workplace. The company, originally called Freelance Programmers, was founded in the early 1960s by Stephanie Shirley, a German who had been evacuated to Britain — along with many fellow Jewish children — as part of the kindertransport shortly before the Second World War.Gender equality is still a major issue in the technology industry, but 50 years ago one British company was blazing trails.
You should care because the unexotic underclass can help address one of the biggest inefficiencies plaguing the startup scene right now: the flood of (ostensibly) smart, ambitious young people desperate to be entrepreneurs; and the embarrassingly idea-starved landscape where too many smart people are chasing too many dumb ideas,
Tech writers and their secret shame - outdated gear.
Microsoft has unveiled their new console, and it wants to dominate your living room. How Xbox One plans to fight Sony, Steam, and everything else.
I turned around to face an approaching figure. It was Larry Page, naked, save for a pair of eyeglasses. “Welcome to Google Island. I hope my nudity doesn’t bother you. We’re completely committed to openness here. Search history. Health data. Your genetic blueprint. One way to express this is by removing clothes to foster experimentation. It’s something I learned at Burning Man,” he said.
You're at a Broadway or off-Broadway show. Suddenly, a cell phone goes off, or the person next to you starts texting. If you're on stage, you could do what Patti LuPone did at Gypsy. You could write an open letter to the offender. Or, you could do what Kevin Williamson did last night.
"It was one of those things that was a gift to humanity... We’re all going to lose for sure." Kepler's career is over, but not before answering one of mankind's most profound questions.
Meet the 17-year-old kid who won a Boston hackathon by creating a killer hack for Twitter, blocking out TV show spoilers. Also, she's a girl, and the only solo entrant.
What does the crowdfunding landscape look like for game developers one year after Kickstarter exploded onto the scene?
How can a company that earns no money be worth a billion dollars? How you answer that question will determine whether you believe that what is now occurring in the office parks and strip-mall coffee shops of the San Francisco Peninsula is the last gasp of another speculative financial bubble or the early articulations of a new world order.
Groundbreaking Surgery for Girl Born Without Windpipe: [New York Times] — Using plastic fibers and human cells, doctors have built and implanted a windpipe in a 2 ½-year-old girl — the youngest person ever to receive a bioengineered organ.
On the 23 of June, 2011 a secret five hour meeting took place between WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who was under house arrest in rural UK at the time and Google CEO Eric Schmidt. We provide here a verbatim transcript of the majority of the meeting; a close reading, particularly of the latter half, is revealing.[more inside]
Youtube user Thepeterson puts together collections of the major radio hits, movies, video games, and technology of a given year. So why not take a time machine trip to the media landscape of : 1997, 1999, and 2002
Touchscreen interface for seamless data transfer between the real and virtual worlds - Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a next generation user interface which can accurately detect the users finger and what it is touching, creating an interactive touchscreen-like system, using objects in the real world.
For WIRED magazine's 20th anniversary, they've "gathered stories for, by, and about the people who have shaped the planet's past 20 years—and will continue driving the next."
How NASA brought the monstrous F-1 "moon rocket" engine back to life - "The story of young engineers who resurrected an engine nearly twice their age." [more inside]
Does anyone here speak art and tech? "Indeed, for a certain sort of hoodie-wearing entrepreneur more keen on trips to Tahoe than the Tate, the rules of the art world can seem especially opaque." No, they are two different cultures. "The traditional art world appears to be recognizing that it is going to need to collect some of this money to continue operating in the manner it has grown accustomed to. What it doesn’t seem to recognize is that it may be selling the wrong thing, a brand of social status that the technology culture is not interested in buying."
CourseSmart software enables professors and teachers to track how much of the assigned reading students have completed.
Meet Bertha, the world's largest underground tunnel boring machine that will soon begin digging a controversial roadway underneath downtown Seattle, similar to Boston's Big Dig
"The enduring emptiness of our technology debates has one main cause, and his name is Tim O’Reilly." (Evgeny Morozov, for The Baffler)
The Smell of Orange Groves. This short story by Lavie Tidhar (author of Osama: A Novel) is part of his Central Station story cycle, taking place in or around Tel Aviv’s Central Station neighborhood sometime in the future. [more inside]
The Forces Of The Next 30 Years - SF author and Mefi's Own Charles Stross talks to students at Olin College about sci-fi, fiction, speculation, the limits of computation, thermodynamics, Moore's Law, the history of travel, employment, automation, free trade, demographics, the developing world, privacy, and climate change in trying to answer the question What Does The World Of 2043 Look Like? (Youtube 56:43)
Economists and the theory of politics - "why unions were often well worth any deadweight cost" [more inside]
What do 3D printing, jelly, liver transplants, chainmail, dental fillings, ferrofluids, and the Six Million Dollar man have to tell us about our future? Materials scientist and engineer Mark Miodownik lets us know in this Royal Institution lecture.
As lexicographers revel in the capabilities of online dictionaries, one person notes the death of print encyclopedias.
seaQuest: what if we could learn to live on/underneath the oceans (or in orbit)? [previously(er)] [more inside]
Defense contractor takes break from F-35 JSF, finds a way to eliminate 99% of the energy cost of desalination. Lockheed-Martin has developed a way to craft sheets of carbon a single atom thick, which can filter the salt (and just about anything else) from water with a tiny fraction of the energy required by current processes. "Lockheed officials see other applications for Perforene as well, from dialysis in healthcare to cleaning chemicals from the water used in hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," of oil and gas wells." Previously.
"Berkeley creates the first graphene earphones, and (unsurprisingly) they’re awesome." Since it was isolated by Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov at the University of Manchester in 2003, graphene has become something of a scientific darling. So, what to do with the "wonder stuff"? Why not make headphones? Turns out, graphene is great for the job: "Graphene has extremely low mass density and high mechanical strength, key qualities for efficient wide-frequency-response electrostatic audio speaker design."
"My unprovable hypothesis is that obsessive upgrading and chronic stagnation are intimately related, in the same way that erotic fantasies are related to sexual repression. The fetish that surrounds Google Glass or the Dow average grows ever more hysterical as the economic status of the majority of Americans remains flat. When things don’t work in the realm of stuff, people turn to the realm of bits. If the physical world becomes intransigent, you can take refuge in the virtual world..." - George Packer, Upgrade or Die
Cypherpunk rising: WikiLeaks, encryption, and the coming surveillance dystopia by R. U. Sirius. [Via]
The AR-15 is more than a gun. It's a gadget. It's an addiction and the future of firearms manufactures. It's the most wanted gun in America and more than anything it is a symbol of the cycle of fear that drives assault weapon sales.
Valibation: It isn't in you, it is you. NSFW short film in which a man's addiction to his smartphone gets a bit out of hand. [Via]
I used Google Glass - "But what’s it actually like to have Glass on? To use it when you’re walking around? Well, it’s kind of awesome."
As Microsoft prepares to retire its unfashionable Hotmail in favor of Outlook.com this summer, let's remember the viral marketing revolution that Hotmail invented. Journey back seventeen years to Hotmail's origins, the birth of the dot.com millionaire, and the boozy optimism of a pre-crash web industry in full-growth mode (Wired, December 1998) .
Romancing the drone: how America's flying robots are invading pop culture. Both real and unreal, drones are spreading silently through art and culture.
Surely you've heard of the physicist Maxwell, but what about Oliver Heaviside? Oliver Heaviside: A first-rate oddity.