Karl Schroeder, the author of many fantastic sf novels (most recently the swashbuckling space-pirates post-Singularity book Sun of Suns
) has written an excellent vingnette for the WorldChanging series on sustainability in Canada, CanadaChanging
. In it, Karl writes about the way that Inuit communities in Nunavut might find the Internet to be a force for independence and a threat to their identity all at once. This is a heartbreaking, bittersweet and visionary piece -- pure Schroeder.
Under the rose-and-peach of a northern sunrise, the town's mountie found Amaruq looting his own library of its books.
Ross watched as Amaruq defiantly heaved another heavy cardboard box into the back of his truck. Then he sauntered over to peer through the door. "Enlarging your collection?"
Amaruq scowled at him. "They're throwing out the books today. After the legislature voted to close the place I did a book sale. Nobody wanted to buy them. I couldn't just sit there and let it happen. Couldn't sleep."
Ross stared at the canary-yellow band of light on the horizon. Then he grinned at Amaruq. "I could say, 'everything's on-line now' so what's the loss?"
Amaruq just shook his head. "We were the only library for two hundred kilometers. Where will the community meet? --And don't say, 'on-line.'"
Ross shook his head and walked up the wooden steps. "I said I could say that. But I won't. What I was going to say was, need some help?"
Amaruq grinned at him. By the light of a canary-yellow band of sky they emptied the contents of the little library of Bell's Lake.
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
The Pocket Tripod PRO had massive Kickstarter success in 2013, raising almost $85,000 in a single month. But this isn’t just another case of pre-release product hype. This ingenious little device folds out from a credit-card-shaped plastic slab into a sturdy stand with a surprisingly wide range of motion. In portrait orientation, your phone slides […]
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]
The ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod is a smartphone tripod that is designed with flexible legs to rest on virtually any type of surface. Other tripods have proved useless unless I conveniently have a flat surface in front of me, which is why this particular tripod was appealing enough to try out. The ARMOR-X is compact and easy […]