Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More
The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.
He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).
Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.
While trolling the Internet for photos to illustrate an upcoming story, I came across this particular failed experiment in headgear. We have little information about what's going on other than what's provided in the Netherlands Nationaal Archief's bibliographic record. It indicates that we're looking at "Plastic face protection from snowstorms. Canada, Montreal, 1939." In Dutch, these things have a name: Plastic sneeuwstormbeschermer.
The triangular plastic snouts also make the young ladies appear to be fans of the Manichean main characters from that staple of Mad Magazine, Spy vs Spy.
The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human.Thompson whipped out that message in 25.94 seconds, shaving more than 9 seconds off the previous record best. (This has not yet been verified by Guinness.)
Obviously, Apple's not going to deploy such a drastic measure wily-nilly, but it's certainly worth keeping in mind that they might have such abilities stashed away in Cupertino.
[T]he patent also covers methods for identifying devices that have been hacked, jailbroken, unlocked or had their SIM cards removed, such as monitoring sudden increases in memory usage that could "indicate that a hacking program is being run and that an unauthorized user may be using the electronic device." Theoretically, Apple could then wipe personal data from these devices and then alert AT&T to "shutdown any telephone service to the electronic device, shutdown the electronic device itself, or otherwise suitably extract the functions of the electronic device."
In other words, the system described in the patent allow Apple to effectively kill jailbroken devices under the guise of protecting customers from theft, since it may not be able to determine whether a device has been stolen or if it is being willingly jailbroken by users.
The critical thing about the design process is to identify your scarcest resource. Despite what you may think, that very often is not money. For example, in a NASA moon shot, money is abundant but lightness is scarce; every ounce of weight requires tons of material below. On the design of a beach vacation home, the limitation may be your ocean-front footage. You have to make sure your whole team understands what scarce resource you're optimizing.There is one other great moment in Kelly's interview with Brooks in which the latter reveals that someone (a real person! who is still alive!) had to make the decision to enable the use of lower-case letters in computing.
Kelly: What do you consider your greatest technological achievement?
Brooks: The most important single decision I ever made was to change the IBM 360 series from a 6-bit byte to an 8-bit byte, thereby enabling the use of lowercase letters. That change propagated everywhere.
One day soon, he imagines, you'll be sitting in a plane and hear this coming from the cockpit or nearby flight attendant:
Our planes need names and histories befitting a vessel humans use to knit civilization across the globe. Marías requests that the airlines give their planes "a little more literature or - which comes to the same thing - a little uniqueness; a little history and background; a little life."
'This plane, the Pierre Ménard, has had an amazing life so far. It was born ten years ago, has made five hundred flights and crossed the Atlantic on sixty-three previous occasions. It has always responded well to us, even in the most unfavourable of circumstances. It's a docile plane by nature, but very sensitive as well. Why, I remember once...'I loved Marías' story and attitude to technology so much that I decided to take up his call to action. I got in touch with Katie Baynes, who does publicity for Virgin America, and demanded to know the names of all their planes. She sent over the list at the bottom of this post. The name should be painted near the door of the plane, so you can often spot it as you're boarding.
The natural analogy [for Facebook] is Tencent. Slow follower as I have called them (though that is entirely unfair since they did do the virtual goods thing earlier and better than most).
The beauty of Goog is that the cash machine was just one machine. FB will need to stack a lot of businesses together. Again, Tencent proves that the most important thing is the user base. Monetization is easy on a sticky base, even if you have to essentially build a myriad of businesses.It's a good point. If you look at Tencent's business, they began with an IM service, which is a kind of social network. Once they'd built the best network, they started rolling out different products like mobile services, games, virtual goods, and more involved social tools.
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