Brave New World of Digital Intimacy
New York Times Magazine, September 5, 2008
An investigation of how online status-updates are creating a new, ESP-like form of contact between people: “Ambient awareness”.
How to Keep the NSA Out of Your Computer
Mother Jones, September/October 2013
Sick of government spying, corporate monitoring, and overpriced ISPs? There’s a cure for that — “mesh networks.”
Vision Quest: Doug Aitken’s tech-fueled, all-night, glow-in-the-dark, cross-country, pop-art train ride
Wired, September 2013
The artist Doug Aitken has spent his life producing gorgeous, unsettling works that explore our rootless, digital modern life. This fall he’ll do his biggest, weirdest one yet: An exhibit that crosses the country — on a train.
What is IBM’s Watson?
New York Times Magazine, June 16, 2010
Going inside IBM to find out how they created the ultimate “question-answering” machine: A computer that can play Jeopardy! better than anyone on the planet.
Is the Khan Academy Changing the Rules of Education?
Wired, July 2011
With free videos and software that lets students learn at their own pace, the Khan Academy is helping public-school teachers flip their classroom around.
If You Liked This, You’re Sure to Love That
New York Times Magazine, November 21, 2008
Netflix offered a $1 million prize to anyone who could make their “recommendation engine” better. But how well can computers grasp the vagaries of human taste?
Google’s China Problem (and China’s Google Problem)
New York Times Magazine, April 23, 2006 — Winner of an Overseas Press Council Award
A report on how Google decided to set up shop in China — and how the Internet is, and isn’t, changing the fabric of Chinese society and politics.
The Pen That Never Forgets
New York Times Magazine, September 16, 2010
Can a high-tech pen keep handwriting alive in a digital age?
Why New Yorkers Are Living Longer
New York, August 13, 2007
Decades ago, New Yorkers lived shorter lives than everyone else in the country. Beginning in the 1990s, that changed — and now they’re living longer and longer than the average American. What is it about a huge city that makes people healthy?
The Instagram Effect
Wired, December 2012
Instagram isn’t just giving us a cutesy way to make photos look retro. It’s training us in “photographic seeing” — looking at the world in a whole new way.
The Glory of the Gif
Wired, January 2013
Why the first “animated gif” was invented 130 years ago — and why tiny loops of video are still keeping us entranced today.
The Death of the Phone Call
Wired, July 2010
The unexpected, out-of-the-blue phone call is dying — and good riddance. It was always a terribly designed technology.
How to Stop Kids From Texting While Driving
Wired, February 2010
It’s simple — just stop them from driving. Why have we built a country more suited to cars than to communication?
Wired, November 2011
“Print on demand” machines can crank out books for an audience of one. Now that they’re arriving, the future of the printed books is looking brighter — and weirder — than ever.
Why Introverts Love the Web
Wired, March 2012
With texting, social-networking, and status updates, the Internet has been a boon to introverts — letting them stay in contact on their own terms.
Why Johnny Can’t Search
Wired, November 2011
In the 50s, we worried why Johnny couldn’t read. Now we’re learning that “digital natives” are too easily hoodwinked by Google. Why “search literacy” needs to become part of everyday schooling.