The “Smart City” Makes Infrastructure And Surveillance Indistinguishable
The “smart city” is not an actually existing entity. It’s a misleading euphemism for a corporately controlled urban future. Urban command centers are built primarily for police, not planners, let alone the public.
New Earth Surveillance Tech Is About to Change Everything, Including Us
New high-resolution satellites, AIs, and data tools are going to let us study Earth, and ourselves, in greater detail than ever before. That’s going to come with “unthinkable” problems.
Hard Truths: Will Museums’ Digital Plans Make Curators Obsolete?
As art institutions continue to raise ticket prices and roll out blockbusters, we may come to see shows that will be curated entirely by optimized algorithms. What happens when a museum becomes curator-less? Will this be the end of art history as we’ve known it, or the dawn of a techno renaissance?
For Bumble, The Future Isn’t Female, It’s Female Marketing
Whitney Wolfe Herd set out to build a safer dating app for women, but it’s not clear that she’s made a measurable difference. According to a company user survey, about a third of Bumble women had received lewd photos from men, whether through text or other social media that Bumble couldn’t control.
Freemium Love: Tech Transforms Dating In San Francisco
Tracking relationships with customer relationship management software. Automating Tinder date-hunting with chatbots. ‘Homeless’ camping dates. Techies are putting their stamp on San Francisco’s dating scene.
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.
When Memphis Fell For A Pyramid Scheme
Memphians have long sought to make symbolic connections to their city’s namesake, that ancient Egyptian capital on the Nile. The Great American Pyramid was supposed to give the Tennessee city an architectural landmark for the ages. Instead, it got a very large sporting goods store.
Three Years Of Misery Inside Google, The Happiest Company In Tech
In the first days of the Trump era, Google’s leaders were desperate to avoid confrontation with the new regime. The company’s history of close ties to the Obama administration left executives feeling especially vulnerable to the reactionary movement.
Silicon Valley’s #MeToo Moment Didn’t Change Anything
Despite tech’s reckoning with equality over the past few years, the industry’s storied history of inequality carries on. A small sampling: Only 11% of executive positions in Silicon Valley are held by women, and women make up only 9% of partners at the top 100 venture capital firms.
India Plans To Build An All-seeing Database To Track Citizens’ Every Move
India, the world’s biggest democracy, built a massive database containing information and biometrics of its citizens in the form of Aadhaar back in 2009. Now, it’s planning to build a new database that will continually track the lives of 1.2 billion people living in the country.
Panasonic Develops World’s first UHD HDR Virtual Reality Glasses
Panasonic launched a new type of virtual reality headgear with the world’s first HDR-compatible VR eyeglasses. The company’s VR eyeglasses are the first to feature High Dynamic Range (HDR) and are much more compact compared to what is currently on the market from the likes of Oculus and HTC.
World’s Busiest Station: Shinjuku Station, Tokyo
Five separate train lines, almost three thousand passengers per minute and trains arriving every second. How can the people behind the scenes of the world’s busiest station overcome a traffic load like this every day? A look behind the scenes of the world’s busiest station: Shinjuku Station in Tokyo.
Why Ban Dollar Stores?
Dollar-discount stores get the blame for “food deserts”—neighborhoods without supermarkets. It’s claimed, these stores drive out supermarkets with their low prices and saturate poor neighborhoods with junk food. But are dollar stores really to blame for bad diets?
Heatworks’ Tetra, An Internet-Connected Compact Countertop Dishwasher
Tetra is an internet-connected compact countertop dishwasher invented by Heatworks. It requires no plumbing and can be placed and used anywhere with a standard electrical outlet. With a smaller capacity than the average dishwasher available on the market today, Tetra holds two full place settings or 10 plates or 12 pint glasses.
The High-Tech Vertical Farmer
In the kale-filled facility at vertical farm startup Bowery Farming, it’s a piece of proprietary software that makes most of the critical decisions — like when to harvest and how much to water each plant. But it still takes humans to carry out many tasks around the farm.
The Future Of Energy Storage Beyond Lithium-Ion
Over the past decade, prices for solar panels and wind farms have reached all-time lows. However, the price for lithium-ion batteries, the leading energy storage technology, has remained too high. So researchers are exploring other alternatives, including flow batteries, thermal batteries, and gravity-based systems.
Future Shock In The Countryside
Conflicting populations already struggle against the seasonal chaos of floods and droughts. The large industrial centers that power fossil-fuel pollution are at risk—the Pearl River Delta is one—but disproportionate consequences are poised to fall upon areas that did little to contribute.
See How The World’s Most Polluted Air Compares With Your City’s
The New York Times visualized the damaging, tiny particles that wreak havoc on human health. From the Bay Area to New Delhi, see how the world’s worst pollution compares with your local air. The particles are too small for the eye to see but in high concentrations, they cast a haze in the sky.
The State Of Qatar’s Hack Of Democracies: A Global Cyber-Crime Operation
In one of the largest state-sponsored computer hacks ever detected, Qatar’s proxies cyberattacked more than 1,400 high-status and ordinary citizens who were exercising their free-speech rights in democracies across North America, the Middle East, Asia and Europe, according to U.S. court filings.
What Does Uber Love More: Restaurants or Investors?
Eateries are getting squeezed by delivery apps. Restaurants can enjoy a 69% profit margin onsite, versus just 38% from deliveries. Uber could give up profit to keep them happy, but that’s not what IPO investors want to hear.
London Underground 1970-1980 By Mike Goldwater
The first thing that strikes anyone who regularly rides on the London Underground is how clean it looks in Mike Goldwater’s photographs. Homeward bound tourists keen to recapture the thrill of minding the gap and cooling their heels on overcrowded platforms are not offered a range of signature scents.