V. Bush

Vannevar Bush This has not been a scientist’s war; it has been a war in which all have had a part. The scientists, burying their old professional competition in the demand of a common cause, have shared greatly and learned much. It has been exhilarating to work in effective partnership. Now, for many, this appears … Continue reading

Beloved Smartphones

It’s totally rational to worry that your phone is tracking everything you do. Farhad Manjoo If you’ve set up a new mobile phone recently, you were likely prompted with an innocent-sounding request for your “usage information.” The phone probably assured you that it would collect your data “anonymously,” and that it would send the information … Continue reading

How Do You Run a News Portal?

Tim Carmody ABC News President Ben Sherwood, left, and Ross Levinsohn, Yahoo’s Executive Vice President of Americas, address a news conference in New York, Monday, Oct. 3, 2011. Photo: Richard Drew First thing Monday morning Yahoo and ABC News announced a new distribution deal — familiar stuff, albeit between two big partners. It will encompass … Continue reading

Apple’s Rumored Virtual Assistant Could Outshine the New iPhone

Christina Bonnington Buzz surrounding Apple’s Tuesday event has never been higher, as consumers eagerly await the announcement of the next generation iPhone. But the new hardware could take a back seat to a bigger announcement: a potential voice control software feature that could be released with the latest version of iOS 5. The voice control … Continue reading

Discount Smart Phones Coming to Germany

In Kenya, a Chinese-manufactured Android phone has taken the mobile market by storm. Starting in September, frugal Germans will be able to buy a similar discount Android from the same company — for a hundred euros. SPIEGEL ONLINE The Huawei smart phone, a hit in East Africa. "The market for smart phones is definitely in … Continue reading

Ultrafast fibre optics set new speed record

by Jeff Hecht THINK your broadband internet connection is fast? Two separate research groups have just lapped the field, setting a world record by sending more than 100 terabits of information per second through a single optical fibre. That’s enough to deliver three solid months of HD video- or the contents of 250 double-sided Blu-ray … Continue reading

Truth and Lies

By Franck Nouchi Translated By Mylène Perdreau Edited by Jessica Boesl France – Le Monde – Original Article (French) There is a tab on the White House website that will direct you to press briefing transcripts. It is a tradition as old as the American democracy: Every day, the president’s spokesperson, an adviser, or even … Continue reading

Google ‘Very Sorry’ After the Cloud Eats Thousands of Gmail Accounts

By Sam Gustin (Update 4:30 p.m. EST: Google spokesman Andrew Kovacs just tweeted that the company’s initial statement on the number of users affected was wrong. “Gmail issue: affected 0.02% of users not 0.08%, restored access for 1/3, remaining 0.013% being restored on ongoing basis,all w/in 12 hrs.” That means the number of affected accounts … Continue reading

The Al Jazeera Effect

The inside story of Egypt’s TV wars and how Saudi Arabia could be next. BY HUGH MILES "Long live Al Jazeera!" chanted Egyptian protesters in Tahrir Square on Feb. 6. Many Arabs — not least the staff at Al Jazeera — have said for years that the Arab satellite network would help bring about a … Continue reading

Follow the Leader

In Response To: Imperial by Design Zalmay Khalilzad, the former head of policy planning at DOD, takes on John Mearsheimer’s critique of the U.S. strategy he helped forge: In his article “Imperial by Design,” John Mearsheimer argues that U.S. difficulties since the end of the Cold War have stemmed from the “flawed grand strategy” of … Continue reading

The Worst Cell Phone on Earth

Excited about 4G? You won’t be after using the Samsung Craft from MetroPCS. By Farhad Manjoo The Samsung CraftIf you’ve gone shopping for a cell phone lately, you’ve probably encountered a salesman who couldn’t contain his excitement about "4G." That’s the name given to several technologies that are supposed to allow for much faster and … Continue reading

Behind the Scenes of a Satellite Launch

By Jerry Adler The six antennas of the Astra 3B carry television and the Internet to households from Ireland to Kazakhstan. But even a small error in the angle or contour of one of the dishes could translate into a large gap in coverage. So one of the steps in testing a satellite is to … Continue reading

Gesturing While Talking Helps Change Your Thoughts

Sometimes it’s almost impossible to talk without using your hands. These gestures seem to be important to how we think. They provide a visual clue to our thoughts and, a new theory suggests, may even change our thoughts by grounding them in action. University of Chicago psychological scientists Sian Beilock and Susan Goldin-Meadow are bringing … Continue reading

Meet the Persident

In surreal Russia, fake presidential tweets are much more relevant than the real ones. BY JULIA IOFFE In his off-hours, a seemingly dutiful government servant in Czar Nicholas I’s Ministry of Finance would pass the time jotting down little aphorisms. Some were obscure in meaning: "Not every general is stout by nature." Or, "If you … Continue reading

Skype’s living room invasion continues, coming on Sony Blu-ray players

By Ryan Paul A growing number of consumer electronics companies are integrating Skype client software into their products. Skype is winning some adoption on pocketable devices, and could potentially see a lot more growth in the mobile market soon due to the company’s recent acquisition of Qik. Another area where Skype is starting to gain … Continue reading

Hands-On With Motorola’s New Droid Bionic

By Mike Isaac LAS VEGAS — After all the ruckus at CES 2011 over Motorola’s Honeycomb-dedicated XOOM tablet died down, I got a chance to get my hands on the latest in the company’s Droid series of smartphones, the Bionic. Like its Droid X predecessor, the Bionic is definitely not small. The 4.3-inch screen is … Continue reading

China Matches U.S. Space Launches for First Time

By David Axe Outwardly, it looked like just another big space launch — and those happen about once a week, from spaceports all around the world. But Friday’s blast-off of a rocket, carrying a Chinese GPS-style navigation satellite, from the Xi Chang Satellite Launch Center was different. It set a record for successful Chinese launches … Continue reading

Breaking Up With Hotmail

Why I’m ending my longest online relationship. By Jack Shafer Hotmail and I go way back. I had an account there before Microsoft bought it for a reported $400 million at the beginning of 1998, which makes the free e-mail service my longest-running online relationship. There were others before Hotmail, of course. I had a … Continue reading

Unlimited data means more to smartphone users than savings

Jacqui Cheng Photo CC by Daniel Hsu Add this to the shocking information pile: mobile customers want unlimited data. This discovery was made by research firm Sanford Bernstein, which conducted a survey of more than 800 smartphone customers over their feelings on data caps, carrier choice, and pricing. They discovered that the prospect of unlimited … Continue reading

Are Tablets the Smartphone Killer?

John C Abell Gadget Lab editor Dylan Tweney is posing the question: What is the perfect phone to tether an iPad? Like me, Tweney is an iPhone and iPad owner, and we’ve been having this discussion offline for months, like Vladimir and Estragon, with about the same results. He’s tired of waiting — hence the … Continue reading

People Could Carry Future Phone Network Nodes

By Duncan Geere, Wired.co.uk Rolling out mobile phone infrastructure is expensive, difficult and often meets public resistance, but it’s an essential step for increasing coverage. So researchers are looking at alternatives, including one proposal that could see members of the public carrying portable nodes in the network. The study, which is being conducted at Queen’s … Continue reading

Mathematics of text messaging could help cellcos manage networks

By Casey Johnston Human communication patterns, particularly in the form of text messages, appear to follow a pattern that’s a fusion of two mathematical models. In a paper published in PNAS on Monday, researchers analyzed a large set of text messages from service providers and found most users trade over 90 percent of their messages … Continue reading

$68,505 cell phone charge? "Bill shock" relief on the way

By Matthew Lasar The Federal Communications Commission proposed new rules today that would alert smart phone users when their mobile phone usage is about to ring up "unexpected charges"—a phenomenon commonly referred to as "bill shock." The recommendations come as the FCC disclosed that it has received numerous complaints, including one about a $68,505 cell … Continue reading

Warning to Parents: Obscure Acronyms Like I.H.Y.D.M.A.W.S. Can Evade Apple’s Anti-Sexting Technology

by Juli Weiner  Apple patented a new function that scans text messages for explicit content. “The technology, which has not been commercialized, would let a phone’s administrator block an iPhone from sending or receiving texts with certain words,” reports CNN. “Messages containing blocked material either would not be received or would have the objectionable content … Continue reading

Instapaper Inventor Links Inattentive Reading to Information Obesity

By Tim Carmody Marco Arment created Instapaper, a tool that strips clutter from online articles and saves them for later reading, because he couldn’t concentrate at his desk. As the former chief technology officer for Tumblr, his Mac Pro’s screen was always pulling him away to do something else. “In the modern desktop environment, with … Continue reading

Cell phone "bill shock" could get less shocking this week

By Matthew Lasar It will be high noon over at the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday as the agency proposes new regulations to help consumers cope with "bill shock"—those unexpectedly high monthly statements smart phone users get from time to time. The FCC’s Open Meeting Notice says the Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed … Continue reading

71 Percent of Tweets Are Ignored

By Duncan Geere About 160 million people use Twitter, which may explain the signal-to-noise ratio. Ever feel like you’re talking to a brick wall on Twitter? That might be because 71 percent of tweets get absolutely no response from the world. Toronto-based social media analytics company Sysomos scanned 1.2 billion messages that were sent in … Continue reading

Texting Censorship Flap Settled Out of Court

By David Kravets A legal flap concerning whether wireless carriers may censor text messages was settled out of court Friday, leaving unanswered the highly contentious question of whether wireless carriers have the same “must carry” obligations as traditional phone companies. The month-old New York federal case pitted T-Mobile against a texting service, which claimed the … Continue reading

Mobile users: can 911 emergency locate you after you call?

By Matthew Lasar Nine years ago Karla Gutierrez lost control of her BMW and it careened into a canal. As the vehicle slipped into the water, Gutierrez called Miami, Florida 911 on her mobile phone. "My car is sinking!" she cried to the operator. "Ma’am, I know," the dispatch respondent replied. "You need to calm … Continue reading

Facebook denies phone rumors, but possibility still exists

By Chris Foresman CC Kamyar Adl Is Facebook attempting to be the new Google? It might be, if the latest rumors are to believed. Mobile developers at Facebook are said to be working on a secret project, and that project may be a Facebook phone—despite the company’s denial. Two well-known developers at Facebook, Joe Hewitt … Continue reading

Lawsuit: T-Mobile text blocking is harshing our buzz, man

By Nate Anderson If you’re a text messaging company serving thousands of clients (including Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church), having your short code blocked by a wireless carrier is a death knell. But the four-year-old EZ Texting says in a new lawsuit that T-Mobile began blocking all access to its 313131 short code on September 10—all … Continue reading

The Secret Lives of Big Pharma’s ‘Thought Leaders’

By Carl Elliott  Michael Morgenstern for The Chronicle Review In the early 1970s, a group of medical researchers decided to study an unusual question. How would a medical audience respond to a lecture that was completely devoid of content, yet delivered with authority by a convincing phony? To find out, the authors hired a distinguished-looking … Continue reading

Are Two Heads Better Than One? It Depends

Communication and competence are key, study suggests By Ryota Kanai and Michael Banissy From coalition governments to teams of scientists, the notion that “two heads are better than one” is the en vogue approach to problem-solving these days.   The premise is simple: We perform better and make more sensible decisions by putting our heads together … Continue reading

Is Your Gmail … Judging You?

by Juli Weiner  Google has announced the advent of Priority Inbox, a Gmail feature that automatically delineates between “Important” mail and “everything else” (their words!). According to Google engineer Matthew Glotzbach, who spoke with N.P.R., the application works by “looking at the people that you’re e-mailing … and looking at your actions—like which messages you’ve … Continue reading

Gmail’s "Priority Inbox" sorts important e-mail for you

By Jacqui Cheng You know the feeling: opening up your e-mail to find hundreds of messages of varying importance. Some are automated reminders from your favorite sites, some are newsletters you have subscribed to, some are actually from real people trying to contact you, and so on. Separating the wheat from the chaff can be … Continue reading

Morse’s Telegraph

This wonder of the age is likely to be used throughout the nation By The Editors EARLY TELEGRAPH KEY sent messages coded as dots and dashes. Editor’s note: .– …. —   -. . . -.. …   – —   – -.– .–. .   .-   — . … … .- –. .   .– .. – ….   – … Continue reading

How WikiLeaks Could Use Its Power for Good

Targeted leaks work better than document dumps. BY CHARLI CARPENTER Since WikiLeaks’ massive Afghanistan document dump on July 25, the organization has rightly been critiqued for releasing the names of Afghan informants who shared information with the U.S. military, a move that endangers civilian lives. But WikiLeaks is not, as some have alleged, analogous to … Continue reading

Blue Whales Synchronize Song Pitch

Male blue whales off California produce the same note, four octaves below middle C, perhaps as a mating beacon to females. Christopher Intagliata reports Blue whales off the California coast make calls that, sped up 10 times, sound like (sound of two-part call). The original is a wall-rattling frequency too low for us to hear. … Continue reading

Just Friends

Just Friends By Richard A. Posner The idea of an online social network is simple, even obvious—Kirkpatrick cites an article from 1968 expounding the idea long before it was technologically feasible. Such networks were already up and running—MySpace was the biggest—when Zuckerberg started Facebook. A user has a profile page on which he posts whatever … Continue reading

Just Friends

By Richard A. Posner The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World By David Kirkpatrick (Simon & Schuster, 372 pp., $26) Facebook is a phenomenon. Its founder and principal owner and chief executive officer, Mark Zuckerberg, is another phenomenon. The rise of these linked phenomena is well narrated in … Continue reading

Australia begs residents to accept free fiber connection

By Nate Anderson. If your government had decided to install a national, open-access fiber-to-the-home network to 93 percent of all residents, if the installation was free, and if the fiber hookup had no effect on your existing phone or cable service and committed you to nothing… wouldn’t you take it? Not if you live in … Continue reading

Intel: the future of electronics is a hybrid silicon "laser device"

By Chris Foresman. Intel announced today that it has reached a milestone in its efforts to replace copper wiring with light by creating a stable, 50Gbps link between two devices using fiber optics. Dubbed "silicon photonics," the chipmaker’s innovations are the basis for a fiber optic interconnect that can be theoretically scaled to 1Tbps for … Continue reading

The Motorola Droid X

By Ryan Paul. Motorola’s Droid X is an impressive new contender in the emerging category of large form-factor touchscreen smartphones. The device’s high-end hardware specifications and massive 4-inch touchscreen set it apart from the rest of Motorola’s current product lineup. Although the Android-based device has much in common with HTC’s recently launched EVO 4G, the … Continue reading

New Massachusetts law extends censorship to IM, e-mail, Web

By Nate Anderson. It has long been illegal in Massachusetts to provide minors with "matter harmful to minors" under the state’s "Crimes against chastity, morality, decency, and good order" law. The law targets obscenity, but only its physical forms, which makes it easier to enforce. When little Johnny steps inside the adult video store, clerks … Continue reading

Hands-on: Swype keyboard for Android is sweeptastic

By Ryan Paul. When assistive technology researcher Dr. Cliff Kushler contributed to the development of the T9 predictive text input system in the ’90s, he helped pave the way for a major breakthrough in mobile messaging. T9 became ubiquitous on feature phones and is still widely used today on mobile devices with conventional numeric keypads. … Continue reading

How even the dumbest Russian spies can outwit the NSA

By Jon Stokes. By now, you’ve no doubt heard of the Russian spy ring that was recently busted in the US, and you’ve also probably heard that they apparently weren’t very bright. The complaint filed in their case documents a litany of unprofessionalism and carelessness, from leaving written passwords out in the open to asking … Continue reading

Apple says iPhone 4 algorithm is to blame, not antenna

By Jacqui Cheng. Apple has issued an official statement about the iPhone 4 antenna issue, attributing the problem to a mistake in the formula that calculates the number of bars to display. Apple says that a software update will be available "within a few weeks" that will correct the issue, not only for the iPhone … Continue reading

No Twitter revolution in Japan

By Brian Fung. Twitter may be rapidly gaining ground in the United States, but it’s in Japan that the social media service has really exploded. Sixteen percent of all Japanese Internet users are now on Twitter, compared to just under ten percent of American Web surfers. Even more remarkable is that both countries share similar … Continue reading

It’s official: White House wants more spectrum for wireless broadband

By Matthew Lasar. The White House has thrown its weight behind the Federal Communications Commission’s efforts to free up 500MHz of broadband for wireless spectrum. President Obama has signed a Presidential Memorandum committing the government to a "sustained effort" to find the licenses and re-purpose them over the next ten years. The National Economic Council’s … Continue reading

iPhone 4 is Apple’s best product launch ever despite issues

By Chris Foresman. Apple announced Monday that in the first three days of availability, it sold 1.7 million iPhone 4 models. That beats previous launch records set by previous iPhone models; the iPhone 3G sold 1 million in its first weekend, while the iPhone 3GS sold "over" 1 million. "This is the most successful product … Continue reading