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Compare and contrast, bits vs dead trees

As lexicographers revel in the capabilities of online dictionaries, one person notes the death of print encyclopedias.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Mar 19, 2013 - 18 comments

sea & sky

seaQuest: what if we could learn to live on/underneath the oceans (or in orbit)? [previously(er)] [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 18, 2013 - 14 comments

Tony Stark, eat your heart out.

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.
posted by Morriscat on Mar 15, 2013 - 67 comments

The Files Will Get Out

Mitt Romney's damning '47 Percent' video and the new politics of privacy
posted by Artw on Mar 14, 2013 - 112 comments

It's a one-atom thick layer of graphite with remarkable properties.

"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."
posted by ocherdraco on Mar 13, 2013 - 38 comments

The Final Frontier

Astronomers Conduct First Remote Reconnaissance of Another Planetary System
posted by Artw on Mar 12, 2013 - 37 comments

Better and Better, Worse and Worse

"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
posted by beisny on Mar 10, 2013 - 26 comments

Cypherpunk Rising

Cypherpunk rising: WikiLeaks, encryption, and the coming surveillance dystopia by R. U. Sirius. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Mar 9, 2013 - 40 comments

The gun of the fearful

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.
posted by Artw on Mar 3, 2013 - 326 comments

Valibation

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]
posted by homunculus on Mar 2, 2013 - 30 comments

The future, but with monthly updates

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."
posted by unliteral on Feb 26, 2013 - 226 comments

Culinary Tech

Polyscience is a company at the cutting edge of culinary technology. [Previously]
posted by lemuring on Feb 26, 2013 - 20 comments

Eulogy for Hotmail

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) .
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Feb 22, 2013 - 64 comments

Durango Unchained

The Australian Raid On SuperDaE And How A Prank Over The Next Xbox Ended In Corporate Espionage
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Feb 21, 2013 - 43 comments

Romancing the Drone

Romancing the drone: how America's flying robots are invading pop culture. Both real and unreal, drones are spreading silently through art and culture.
posted by homunculus on Feb 18, 2013 - 80 comments

Oliver Heaviside

Surely you've heard of the physicist Maxwell, but what about Oliver Heaviside? Oliver Heaviside: A first-rate oddity.
posted by Evernix on Feb 14, 2013 - 14 comments

Interview with Eleanor Kolchin

The Face Of A 'Computer' From 1946
posted by infini on Feb 5, 2013 - 5 comments

LA Noire Gag Reel

La Noire Gag Reel || Previously || More Info About the Tech
posted by lemuring on Feb 4, 2013 - 12 comments

Google Invades

Rebecca Solnit on how Silicon Valley corporations are transforming San Francisco: I weathered the dot-com boom of the late 1990s as an observer, but I sold my apartment to a Google engineer last year and ventured out into both the rental market (for the short term) and home buying market (for the long term) with confidence that my long standing in this city and respectable finances would open a path. That confidence got crushed fast. It turned out that the competition for any apartment in San Francisco was so intense that you had to respond to the listings – all on San Francisco-based Craigslist of course, the classifieds website that whittled away newspaper ad revenue nationally – within a few hours of their posting to receive a reply from the landlord or agency. The listings for both rentals and homes for sale often mentioned their proximity to the Google or Apple bus stops. [more inside]
posted by liketitanic on Jan 31, 2013 - 143 comments

Essay: Moral Shortcomings in the Technology Debate

Digital and genetic techniques increasingly influence life. Our belief in progress through technology stands in the way of a moral debate on this development. ~ by Rinie van Est
posted by infini on Jan 31, 2013 - 24 comments

PRINTER IS JAMMED. OPEN DOOR, CLEAR FOOD, THEN PRESS OK.

Looking to print your own house, jewelry or dessert? Then check out Engadget's Consumer Guide to 3D printers.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 30, 2013 - 81 comments

Apple Takes Bite out of Child Labor

After their annual audit showed a large spike in underage workers, Apple made good on its promise to take more responsibility for its suppliers.
posted by gilrain on Jan 26, 2013 - 65 comments

Indeterminate Hikes

"How do we engage technology sustainably and in a way that supports creativity and freedom?... One of the things I try to do... is to somehow interrupt the use of [new and emerging] technologies so that it causes people [an] unexpected and renewed awakening or sensibility of those devices being in our lives." [more inside]
posted by knile on Jan 24, 2013 - 14 comments

"A display with the thickness of a sheet of paper"

Yesterday at CES, Plastic Logic unveiled PaperTab, a "tablet" that is thin and flexible like paper. Here's a hands-on video with Time Magazine, and here's another demo. The company had a very public failure three years ago with its cancelled Que tablet (previously), but now says it is focusing on licensing the technology to companies that want to make "the paper of the future."
posted by jbickers on Jan 9, 2013 - 29 comments

Garmin's Edge

Garmin, the well-known navigation company also makes bike computers. Today they unveiled a GPS-enabled bike computer that adds bluetooth to pair with your phone (and piggyback on your network connection). The resulting product video featuring Garmin's pro team riders is a little Hollywood and a little silly showing riders competing virtually against each other but paints a pretty impressive picture for real-time stats, weather, maps, and data sharing among cyclist friends. More at Wired's Gadget blog and a complete review at the DC rainmaker cycling site.
posted by mathowie on Jan 8, 2013 - 39 comments

Teaching Computers to Hear Emotions

New research can detect five different emotions with 81 percent accuracy. [Additional project information].
posted by Evernix on Jan 8, 2013 - 21 comments

Is the Steam Box here?

Valve and Xi3 team up to bring the Piston to CES.
posted by Artw on Jan 8, 2013 - 112 comments

little techie.

little techie. from the mind of a 5-year-old tech geek. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 4, 2013 - 24 comments

The candidate that "cares about people like me."

The story behind Mitt Romney’s loss in the presidential campaign to President Obama
posted by facehugger on Dec 23, 2012 - 291 comments

NYT's new cutting edge tech for longform journalism

The New York Times is previewing their latest technology in the longform journalism piece Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek (username: avalanche/password: preview). Scroll down slowly to enjoy all the photos, slideshows, and movies that go along with the piece, which looks to be adding new chapters to the story over time.
posted by mathowie on Dec 19, 2012 - 47 comments

To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions...

On December 5th, Instagram's founder Kevin Systrom announced that Instagram would cut support for Twitter cards. On December 10th, Twitter updated its mobile apps to include Instagram-like photo filters. On December 12th, Flickr did too. On December 16th, the New York Times reported that Systrom may have perjured himself during the process of selling Instagram to Facebook. On December 17th, Instagram updated its terms of use to announce, among other changes, that its users now
"agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you."
In response, Wired has posted How to Download Your Instagram Photos and Kill Your Account. Previously.
posted by davidjmcgee on Dec 18, 2012 - 192 comments

Escaping the hamster wheel of web publishing

Brian Lam quit Gizmodo after feeling burnt out from a frantic digital existence. “I was tired of doing posts that were obsolete three hours after I wrote them,” Mr. Lam said. “I wanted evergreen content that didn’t have to be updated constantly in order to hunt traffic. I wanted to publish things that were useful.”
posted by winecork on Dec 17, 2012 - 53 comments

Tricorder: ETA 2013

The Scanadu Scout (as part of the X-Prize) is aspiring to be a mobile medical device that can help you keep track of your physical stats on a day to day basis, as well as providing urinalysis and influenza testing to your smartphone along with a host of other features. And with an estimated $150 price-tag, it could be put into the hands of nearly everyone. [video with developer]. [via][previously]
posted by quin on Dec 17, 2012 - 13 comments

Not because it was easy, but because it was hard

Apollo 40 years on: how the moon missions changed the world for ever
posted by Artw on Dec 17, 2012 - 28 comments

Goal Directed Design Process

Alan Cooper and the Goal Directed Design Process The heart of the problem, he concludes, is that the people responsible for developing software products don’t know precisely what constitutes a good product. It follows that they also do not know what processes lead to a good product. In short, they are operating by trial and error, with outcomes like customer satisfaction achieved by little more than blind luck. By Hugh Dubberly, first published AIGA GAIN Journal, 2001
posted by infini on Dec 13, 2012 - 28 comments

Looking for Some Waist Heat

A five-part series on the ultimate limit on technology, and how that limit could help us find other civilizations: 1 2 3 4 5 [via]
posted by cthuljew on Dec 12, 2012 - 16 comments

Not the Borg After all...

Ballmer, Sinofsky and the struggle for the soul of Microsoft
posted by Artw on Dec 11, 2012 - 52 comments

Drag it over to the wastepaper basket

The Floppy Disk means Save, and 14 other old people Icons that don't make sense anymore
posted by infini on Dec 10, 2012 - 256 comments

"The statistics don't matter, until they happen to you."

"Premature babies born at the edge of viability force us to debate the most difficult questions in medicine and in life. After just 23 weeks of pregnancy, Kelley Benham found herself in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with a daughter born so early neonatologist doctors would call her a "micro preemie." New technologies can sometimes keep micro preemies alive, but many end up disabled, some catastrophically so. Whether to provide care to these infants is one of the fundamental controversies in neonatology. This is the story of how Benham and her husband, Tom French, made the difficult choice: Fight for the life of their micro preemie baby or let her go?" [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 8, 2012 - 70 comments

Golden Gate Park Windmills

At the western edge of Golden Gate Park sit two Windmills, claimed to be among the largest in the world. Built over 100 years ago to irrigate the park, they were eventually made functionally obsolete by electric water pumps and were allowed to fall into a state of neglect. The North (Dutch) Windmill was given a face-lift in 1980, and more recently The South (Murphy) windmill has been completely restored. For the first time in decades both windmills started spinning, appropriately enough, on Queen's Day earlier this year. The entire reconstruction process of the South Windmill is documented in this extensive photo gallery.
posted by MattMangels on Dec 3, 2012 - 11 comments

Bit Part

"Why should I load up on debt just to binge drink for four years when I could just create an app that nets me all the money I’ll ever need?" Young entrepreneurs are ditching college in droves, seen by some as a bad investment while dropping out is a "badge of honor" in Silicon Valley, whose lionized heroes include Zuckerburg, Jobs, and Gates - all college dropouts themselves.
posted by four panels on Dec 2, 2012 - 133 comments

gentle observer

Why People Really Love Technology: An Interview with Genevieve Bell The thing I love about Intel researcher Genevieve Bell is that she finds surprising things by looking at what's left out of the dominant narratives about technology. She finds data that's ignored because it didn't fit into the paradigm of, say, how people adopt technology. The dominant narrative is that young men determine the popularity of phones, computers, websites, and the like. But when Bell looked at the data, the story we told ourselves about how the world worked was not reflected in the numbers. That's why I wanted to talk to her about what gadgets people around the world might be using over the next decade. I figured she was someone who could look past the conventional wisdom and find the missing pieces of the future
posted by infini on Nov 29, 2012 - 30 comments

Green Dam Youth Escort

"During his civil lawsuit against the People's Republic of China, Brian Milburn says he never once saw one of the country's lawyers. He read no court documents from China's attorneys because they filed none. The voluminous case record at the U.S. District courthouse in Santa Ana contains a single communication from China: a curt letter to the U.S. State Department, urging that the suit be dismissed. That doesn't mean Milburn's adversary had no contact with him." [China Mafia-Style Hack Attack Drives California Firm to Brink]
posted by vidur on Nov 28, 2012 - 12 comments

You would download your car data

"You probably don't think of your car as a developer platform, but Mike Rosack did."
posted by vidur on Nov 26, 2012 - 25 comments

Philips CD-i

The Philips CD-i was a unique blend of CD player and gaming console, with "interactive" playback capabilities. The only completely interactive music CD for the platform was released by Todd Rundgren in 1993. A reference guide for everything CD-i can be found here.
posted by MattMangels on Nov 26, 2012 - 29 comments

Destroyer Gods and Sons-of-Bitches

In the telling it has the contours of a creation myth: At a time of great evil and great terror, a small group of scientists, among the world’s greatest minds, secluded themselves in the desert. In secrecy and silence they toiled at their Promethean task. They sought the ultimate weapon, one of such great power as to end not just their war, but all war. They hoped their work would salvage the future. They feared it could end everything. - Prometheus in the desert: from atom bombs to radio astronomy, New Mexico's scientific legacy
posted by Artw on Nov 24, 2012 - 22 comments

The threat won't be understood until a Cyberdisaster

The Frightening Things You Hear at a Black Hat Conference. (Previously-ish).
posted by MattMangels on Nov 23, 2012 - 49 comments

Romney's Technical Foul

You've heard from quite a few sources as to why and how Romney lost, including Romney himself. But technology played a role in the loss, too. According to Sean Gallagher in Ars Technica, Romney's campaign was badly outgunned when it came to its technology infrastructure, relying heavily on outsourced IT and consultants. The disastrous Project ORCA, an attempted streamlining of the age old "strike list" process for contacting those who haven't voted yet, likely did not help. [more inside]
posted by Lieber Frau on Nov 19, 2012 - 130 comments

The New Sound of Music

Airing in 1979, The New Sound of Music was a BBC documentary which depicted and demonstrated the history of recorded and manipulated music, from the earliest paper rolls to electronic synthesizers and the cutting and manipulation of tape. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty on Nov 19, 2012 - 13 comments

Measure 4 times, cut once.

"We worked through every possible disaster situation," Reed said. "We did three actual all-day sessions of destroying everything we had built."
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Nov 16, 2012 - 30 comments

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