A Very Short, Very Dubious History of Technology

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LAS VEGAS -- Here at CES, you see a lot of visions of the future. There are 3D TVs and cameras, a bunch of new interfaces, a flood of tablets, etcetera.

But one company was bold enough to put their new product in proper historical perspective. After the abacus, typewriter, and desktop computer, NewMine's Phone-PC is the natural next step in technological evolution. What makes it so special? I couldn't really tell, but it appears to be a tablet embedded into a phone that you operate with a stylus.

Read more of our coverage of CES.
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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com, where he also oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called 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.

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