Africa’s Tech Edge

How the continent's many obstacles, from widespread poverty to failed states, allowed African entrepreneurs to beat the West at reinventing money for the mobile age

A Better Battery

Steven Chu, a Nobel laureate and former secretary of energy, and Yi Cui, a celebrated battery researcher who works with Chu at Stanford, describe how an overhaul of the unglamorous battery will jump-start a shift to renewable energy.

Why Doctors Still Use Pen and Paper

The healthcare reformer David Blumenthal explains why the medical system can’t move into the digital age.

Building a Better Parking Sign

A rogue designer tries to replace an old standard

Get Ready to Roboshop

Alexis Madrigal talks with Walmart’s Gibu Thomas about why a smartphone is the perfect shopping companion.

When Will Genomics Cure Cancer?

A conversation with the biogeneticist Eric S. Lander about how genetic advances are transforming medical treatment

Jesse Willms, the Dark Lord of the Internet

How one of the most notorious alleged hustlers in the history of e-commerce made a fortune on the Web

'Our Place Is in the Sky'

Balloons, though they fly low, inspire dangerous dreams of escape.

Photobomb: A New Data-Recording Device for First Responders

It's round, it bounces, and it snaps pictures every half second.

Cloudy With a Chance of Beer

The Weather Company’s Vikram Somaya talks about why marketers are clamoring for weather data.

Why Land on the Moon?

In 1961, when President Kennedy declared that America would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade, critics complained about the cost. In response, two scientists argued that the endeavor shouldn't be thought of in terms of budgets or even science, but rather in terms of pursuing a "great adventure" on behalf of mankind.

All Can Be Lost: The Risk of Putting Our Knowledge in the Hands of Machines

We rely on computers to fly our planes, find our cancers, design our buildings, audit our businesses. That's all well and good. But what happens when the computer fails?

The Man Who Would Teach Machines to Think

Douglas Hofstadter, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Gödel, Escher, Bach, thinks we've lost sight of what artificial intelligence really means. His stubborn quest to replicate the human mind.

Life After QWERTY

Who Will Tomorrow's Historians Consider Today's Greatest Inventors?

We asked leading figures in technology, science, medicine, and design for nominations. Here's what they said.

The 50 Greatest Breakthroughs Since the Wheel

Why did it take so long to invent the wheelbarrow? Have we hit peak innovation? What our list reveals about imagination, optimism, and the nature of progress.

Technologies to Bet On

Why It’s Never Been More Fun to Watch Sports

A discussion with Hank Adams, the CEO of Sportvision, the company that created the glowing hockey puck and football's yellow line

Why Is Software So Slow?

An interview with software executive Charles Simonyi on why computer applications lag behind hardware, and how new apps could end drudgery

Building a Better Windmill

What if turbines weren’t so awful to be around?

How to Catch a Liar on the Internet

Technology makes it easier than ever to play fast and loose with the truth—but easier than ever to get caught.

How to Build a Digital Brain

Palm founder Jeff Hawkins on neurology, big data, and the future of artificial intelligence

How Yelp Might Clean Up the Restaurant Industry

Ever wonder about the risk of vermin infection at your favorite eatery? The review site is teaming up with public-health officials to make health ratings count.

Reinventing the Wheel: Here's One You Can Fold

Witness the most awesome wheelchair yet.

The Art of Staying Focused in a Distracting World

The tech-industry veteran Linda Stone on how to pay attention


Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more


Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.


What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world



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