Inside SpinLaunch, The Space Industry’s Best Kept Secret
Last summer, a secretive space company took up residence in a massive warehouse in the sun-soaked industrial neighborhood that surrounds Long Beach Airport. The company is building a massive centrifuge to accelerate rockets and send them screaming into space.
Sweden’s Cashless Society Dream Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be
Just one per cent of Sweden’s GDP circulates as cash. As debates over the need for cash rage along lines of age, wealth and location, the country is looking to create a digital currency.
The Metaphysics Of The Hangover
A hangover is about being poisoned, no doubt. The toxins linger in the body and must be expelled, or waited out. We’re sick with a mini-flu and need to get better. But isn’t a hangover about more than physical toxins, at least some of the time? I’ll wager that a hangover is frequently about shame as well.
Studies Shoot Down Tech’s Harmful Effects on Kids—So Now What?
It looks like grownups can disregard the fear-mongering about the ill effects of digital media on kids. A 2017 study in Child Development found “little or no support for harmful links between digital screen use and young people’s psychological well-being.”
The Dark Side Of Electronic Waste Recycling
Electronics can be hazardous when disposed of improperly, and the Basel Action Network, or BAN, investigates the underground world of the e-waste trade. The nonprofit group secretly embeds trackers in discarded devices, then hands them to recyclers to see where they end up, exposing bad practices in the process.
Destroyer Of Worlds
The story of 8chan’s founder, Fredrick Brennan, is a perfect expression of this: born with a profound disability and shuttled in and out of foster care, his creation of the site was born not out of cold calculation or political ambition, but from a need to find community in loneliness.
What Happens When Bitcoin Miners Take Over Your Town
Miners now pouring into Eastern Washington are building sites with tens of thousands of servers and electrical loads of as much as 30 megawatts, or enough to power a neighborhood of 13,000 homes. And in the arms race that cryptocurrency mining has become, even these operations will soon be considered small-scale.
How Slack Ruined Work
Slack is a particularly “scary offender” in stopping people getting their work done because it encourages them to be constantly distracted. It’s scary because messenger-based systems directly tap into how humans seek to reward themselves, and the long term result is unhealthy.
MDMA Researcher Is Fixing The Bad Science That Sent Him To Prison
As a teenager, Christopher Medina-Kirchner went to prison for selling ecstasy, but now his MDMA research is debunking the bad science that got him there. He’s also creating a pipeline to help other formerly incarcerated people transition into scientific research.
The Real Reason The Sound Of Your Own Voice Makes You Cringe
A common explanation is that because we normally hear our own voice while talking, we receive both sound transferred to our ears externally by air conduction and sound transferred internally through our bones. This bone conduction of sound delivers rich low frequencies that are not included in air-conducted vocal sound.
The Small Virginia Town Where Drone Deliveries Have Begun For Real
Wing, a subsidiary of Google, chose Christiansburg (population 22,500) as its first launching site for American commercial drone delivery operations — it’s also testing in Australia and Finland — not only because of the relatively flat terrain and low population density, but because of nearby Virginia Tech University.
How Technology Is Shaping The World Of Footwear
Over the past decade, one of the best examples of where tech has flourished is the footwear industry. From self-lacing tech to cushioning systems made from tiny foam particles, brands like Nike, Adidas and others have gone all out trying to change what footwear design means.
Escape From The Matrix
The fear of missing out, a spawn of technological advancement and proliferating social information, is the feeling that we’re missing out on something more exciting, more important, or more interesting going on somewhere else. FoMO haunts our social networks and our real lives alike. But there is a way to break free.
In South-East Asia, Grab And Gojek Bring Banking To The Masses
Both started with ride-hailing and expanded into other logistics businesses, such as deliveries and food-ordering. The story of two South-East Asian “deca-unicorns”—fintechs valued above $10bn—is usually told in terms of their rivalry.
I Lost My Identity To A Fraudster, And It Took Six Years To Clean Up The Mess
This essay is going to scare you. There is a better-than-average chance that, at some point in the last several years, your personal information was stolen. Not something small like a credit card account, but the good stuff, your Social Security number coupled with your birthdate.
How To Keep The Earth As Inhabitable As Possible
We’ve been behind where we need to be for decades now, and the fact that we’ll be living in a hotter, less hospitable world is an inevitability. The only uncertainty left is how quickly we respond and how much damage we’re going to be able to prevent.
What Facial Recognition Steals From Us
In just the past five years, the meaning of the human face has quietly but seismically shifted. That’s because researchers at Facebook, Google, and other institutions have nearly perfected techniques for automated facial recognition.
The Drone Boat Of ‘Shipwreck Alley’
Divers flock from all over the world to see the wrecks for themselves each year — and last spring, they were joined by an unusual interloper: an autonomous boat named BEN. BEN is a self-driving boat that’s been tasked with making maps, and to help lay bare the long-lost secrets of the lakebed.
iPhones Are Being Turned Into Ultrasound Devices To Diagnose Patients
The world’s first handheld ultrasound device, Butterfly iQ, will give hope to 4.7 billion people who don’t have access to medical imaging, revolutionizing modern medicine. Butterfly Network founder Dr Jonathan Rothberg invented the tool, a battery-operated device the size of an electric shaver that diagnoses abnormalities within seconds.
Inside The Failure Of Google+, A Very Expensive Attempt To Unseat Facebook
Create a social network or risk everything. That was the original pitch for Google’s Facebook rival, Google+, a refrain hammered over and over by the social network’s chief architect, Vic Gundotra, in meetings with the company’s top brass.