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Mark Frauenfelder I'm a writer and illustrator living in Los Angeles. (Click on my picture for a bigger version.)

I co-founded bOING bOING magazine and the Boing Boing Blog, and was an editor at Wired from 1993-1998. For three years, I wrote a monthly column for Playboy called "Living Online," and was the co-editor of The Happy Mutant Handbook (Putnam-Berkley, 1995). I'm the design columnist for Mobile PC magazine and a contributing editor to TheFeature. I'm also a ukulele fanatic. From June to October 2003, my wife, two daughters and I lived around the South Pacific.

I wrote and illustrated a science experiment book called THE MAD PROFESSOR. Every page is in full color and loaded with illustrations, and it's printed on easy-to-clean laminated paper, so you can make your Goon Goo, hovercrafts, portal paper, spool-bots, and other experiments without fear of staining the book.

Mad Professor Science Experiments by Mark Frauenfelder
Latest Book: Rule the Web: How To Do Anything and Everything on the Internet -- Better, Faster, Easier


Tele-Immersion (December 9, 2001)
Tele-immersion goes several steps beyond teleconferencing to create the illusion that people separated by distance are together in the same room.

Self-Cooling Buildings (December 9, 2001)
Self-cooling buildings use strategically placed vents, atria and other architectural features that take advantage of simple physical principles to keep interior temperatures comfortable.

Social Norms Marketing (December 9, 2001)
Social-norms marketing is the science of persuading people to go along with the crowd. The technique works because people are allelomimetic -- that is, like cows and other herd animals, our behavior is influenced by the behavior of those around us.


A Smarter Web (November 2001)
The Web is huge but not very smart. Computer scientists are beginning to build a "Semantic Web" that understands the meanings that underlie the tangle of information.


Roadside Attractions (June 2001)
The streets and highways of Southern California were once a veritable feast of space-age designs. Where are they now?


Look! Up in the Sky! It's a Flying Cell Phone Tower! (November, 2002)
Step inside the air-conditioned warehouses at AeroVironment in Simi Valley, Calif., and you might think you've stumbled onto the set of Mr. Wizard.

My Sweet Embraceable Uke (June 2001)
Suddenly the ukulele is hot again. But please don't play "Tiptoe Through the Tulips."

Remote Possibilities (June 1999)
Can a group of high-powered former TV execs create a new entertainment network on the Internet?


Smash Hits (August, 2001)
Videogames are getting seriously physical: The engine is the real-time force of nature. Now when you fight, the entire game environment fights back.

Death Match (May, 2001)
Your Guide to the Box Wars.

Superformer (October 2000)
Part sprocket science, part high design, Biomega's glow-in-the-dark plastic aluminum bike is redefining the art of the wheel. Now put it back on the wall.

Revenge of the Know-It-Alls (August 2000)
Inside the Web's free-advice revolution.

Machine Translation's Past and Future (May, 2000)
A renewed international effort is gearing up to design computers and software that smash language barriers and create a borderless global marketplace.

Never Say Die (March, 2000)
For countless TRS-80 faithful and Commodore 64 loyalists, the trailing edge is the high ground of technology.

Snips and Snails and Ribosome Tails (January, 2000)
Every kid's dream come true. A dog that never dies - and a best friend who can be unplugged.

Retro-a-Go-Go (January, 2000)
In Bungalow Heaven, the glow of the 1950s never fades.

Ask the Love Engine™ (January, 2000)
Our AI sexpert makes love a little less difficult.

The Back-Door Director (October, 1999)
David Douglas was too cheap for Hollywood. They'll be sorry.

Hollywood's Head Case (August, 1999)
Inside the runaway brain of f/x guru Kevin Mack.

Gross National Product (June, 1999)
Extreme candy is the fastest-growing segment of the $23 billion US market. Kids want gross, sour novelties with special effects - and they'll pay for it.

Do It Yourself Darwin (October, 1998)
Karl Sims invites you to play God among the machines.

Houses of the Future (August, 1998)
A user's guide to out-of-the-box living.

Transformer (June, 1998)
Mechanical magician Chuck Hoberman makes ever bigger creations that get smaller all the time.


Nanoart (February 12, 2004)
For nanoart to imitate real life, exhibition goes back to the basics.

Eye Chips for the Blind (June 19, 2003)
For more than 40 million people around the world, blindness is a fact of life. But for the many millions who are afflicted with progressive eye diseases and disorders, restored vision one day may be found in tiny chips implanted in the eye. The chips stimulate the optic nerve that links the eye and brain and may help patients battling macular degeneration or retinitis pigmentosa.

Abtech Scientific uses small tech to sense the future of medicine (May 05, 2003)
One of the most frustrating problems for doctors who prescribe medicine is determining the effective dosage. A dose that barely has an effect on one patient's symptoms could be dangerously toxic for another. Abtech Scientific Inc. hopes to solve this problem.

HP's moltronics research helps energize small tech startups (March 28, 2003)
There are very few companies that possess the money and technical talent it takes to seriously pursue molecular electronics. That's where Hewlett-Packard Co. comes in. HP’s nanocomputing efforts will have major effects on smaller startups that are working on their own molecular electronics applications.

After Columbia: Small tech can help make space travel safer (February 14, 2003)
It will be some time before NASA can say whether damage to the fragile insulating tiles that cover the underbelly of the space shuttle caused the Columbia to disintegrate on Feb. 1. What is known for certain is Columbia was destroyed by a “thermal event,” and the shuttle program uses thermal protection technology that is decades old. NASA will increasingly look to small tech for ways to avert future tragedies.

Companies race to develop ultimate detection technology in terror war (December 20, 2002)
Dozens of companies, federal laboratories and research institutions around the world are racing to develop accurate, always-on systems that can detect traces of anthrax, botulism, plague, smallpox and tularemia in packages, buildings and water supplies. At the heart of many of these systems are MEMS-based technologies designed to sniff out lethal bioagents.

U.S. eager to end plague of 'false positives' for bio/chem weapons (May 9, 2003)
Even the most sophisticated sensors find it hard to distinguish chemical and biological weapons from pesticides and other microbes. Small tech companies are racing to provide the solution with a new breed of biochemical detectors.

Cryonics Conference Brings Out Nanotech's Extreme Optimists (December 6, 2002)
At Alcor's fifth annual Conference on Extreme Life Extension, two well-known scientists presented their visions for the far-out future of nanotechnology.

Veeco came, saw, acquired majority of the AFM market (October 8, 2002)
When Veeco was founded in 1945, the name was an acronym for Vacuum Electronic Equipment Company. Today, it might stand for Very Enormous Electronics Company. Recently, its acquisitions have revealed a move toward nanotechnology and MEMS. Most notable are VeecoÕs purchases of three companies that manufacture atomic force microscopes.

Electronic Nose Sniffs Out New Markets (May 06, 2002)
Cyrano Sciences Inc. makes an $8,000 electronic nose the size of a large walkie-talkie. Just wave the Cyranose 320Õs sniffing tube over a vat of petrochemicals, a barrel of wine or a pallet of fish, and it will inform you of the substanceÕs quality by flashing the information on an illuminated LCD monitor.

Hasbro's Hit Robot Creator Awaits Mass-Produced Mems (March 18, 2002)
Mark Tilden, a robot physicist and creator of last holiday season's toy sensation "B.I.O. Bugs," would love to use MEMS in his toys. But first, the industry needs to bring down the cost. If that happens, he and other toy makers can have MEMS in millions of interactive dolls, robots and toys in a matter of months.


The Promises and Perils of Telematics. (January 29, 2004) In the next few years, new cars will be sold with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and cellular systems in them - and that has some big implications for privacy.

The Wireless Hook-Up (January 7, 2004)

Moblogging for the Masses, Part 2 (December 11, 2003) You can go to WINKsite today and make your very own moblog quickly and easily. You might not even have to refer to the instructions...

First Look at the Smart Display (November 11, 2002)
TheFeature takes a quick look at the first examples of Microsoft's Smart Display concept.

Say Anything (Within Reason) (October 27, 2002)
Call it wishful thinking. For centuries, people have dreamed of machines that could converse as easily as people do.

Mob Rule (September 27, 2002)
An interview with Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs, a book about the next social revolution.

Outsmarting the Tragedy of the Commons (August 5, 2002)
The spectrum is finite, but as a resource it is not limited. So, what seems to be the problem?

Welcome to the Metaverse (June 12, 2002)
Suddenly, my image is replaced by that of a slightly manga-esque looking young Japanese woman with a sensible haircut and an expensive business suit...

You Are Your Password (May 13, 2002)
Are biometrics the key to mobile security, or would the technology go too far?

Point, Shoot, Share! (April 22, 2002)
Imaging comes to mobile devices, but there'll be a few hiccups along the way.

Wireless Games: The Next Two Years (March 27, 2002)
Venture capitalists who've been pouring money into the coffers of wireless game developers can stop worrying about whether or not handhelds are too small to be successful game devices.

The Wireless Living Room (March 25, 2002)
Smart new appliances promise to help you master your own domain. But which technologies will win out?

Boingo's Wireless ISP Strategy (March 4, 2002)
Boingo plans on winning the wireless ISP game "with a killer combination of software and schmoozing..."

The Symbian Crowd Plays Nice (February 11, 2002)
The Open Mobile Architecture promises compatibility, interoperability, and a level playing field.

I Want My SWE! (February 6, 2002)
Streaming Wireless Entertainment promises to simplify mobile life, and lighten the burden gadget geeks bear every day.

Can a Few Tablets Cure Industry Ills? (January 14, 2002)
Tablet PCs promise to change the way you think about mobile computing. But can they follow through?

SSSCA: Copyright, or Copywrong? (December 10, 2001)
Legislation now being considered in the US Congress will have far reaching consequences if passed.

Peering into the Aether (August 23, 2001)
Three things are needed: better hardware, more compelling applications, and better, faster, cheaper networks.

G-Cluster Makes Games to Go (November 6, 2001)
You've heard of distributed computing. But what about a centralized model for mobile devices?

Checking into the Habbo Hotel (October 23, 2001)
Finnish company Sulake has developed some pretty cool stuff: Mobile commerce, community, and more...

Augment Your Reality (September 25, 2001)
Adding a layer of computer generated information on top of real things and places isn't science fiction anymore.

Infrared Networks: Something to Beam About (August 7, 2001)
Companies are using infrared kiosks to deliver some very cool mobile data services.

Wayport Goes Widespread (July 26, 2001)
Using Wi-Fi technology, Wayport has become the world's largest supplier of wireless networks for airports, hotels, and convention centers.


Test Filming the X10 Camera (Aug 13 2001)
The actual gadget might not live up to the ad blitz, but it's a lot less annoying.

Cell Out (Aug 10 2001)
Check in at one of these resorts and tune out the din of wireless devices.

Standard of Living (Aug 10 2001)
Have some outdoor fun with these digital technologies.

Cleaning the Digital Device House (July 16 2001)
Feel overburdened when carrying all of those 'necessary' wireless gadgets? Well, try this out.

Look Ma, No Hands! (Jun 02 2001)
New York bans talking on a handheld cell phone while driving, and your state may be next. Meanwhile in California, tech execs fear legal reform could force them to forfeit their intellectual property .

The Father of Invention (Jun 25 2001)
When the man who invented the Ginger/IT scooter wants to bring shape to his ideas, he calls on dear old dad.

Hairy Beasts and Malevolent Aliens (Jun 25 2001)
New DVD titles chronicle the golden era of low-tech special effects.

Deep-Net Fishing (Jun 18 2001)
New search tools are fishing in the Web we never see.

Science Friction (Apr 02 2001)
Legendary sci-fi author Harlan Ellison is fighting a lonely battle against e-book pirates. Will he take Usenet down with him?

Just the Text, Ma'am (February 12, 2001)
Frustrated by the eternally slow Internet, tech-savvy news junkies are peeling away Web sites to get to the juice: Words.

The New Encyclopedia Salesmen (November 20, 2000)
A fresh crop of Internet-based encyclopedias hope to harness the best information sources on the Net: Know-it-all users

Nouveau Niche (October 23, 2000)
Meet Cory Doctorow: Disney freak, science-fiction novelist and self-described "happiest geek on Earth." His peer-to-peer dream is to help obscure artists find their audience.

Digital Publishing: An Open E-Book (July 31, 2000)
Two e-book standards are duking it out for dominance. Publishers don't much care which one wins, as long as one of them does.

To Be Continued: Serials Return (June 26, 2000)
Publishers and other content providers are discovering a new way to distribute their work: Old-fashioned installments.

Cherry-Picking The Web (April 17, 2000)
Metabrowsers let surfers select whatever content they want from anywhere on the Web and gather it all on one site.

Everything But the Kitchen, Synced (January 24, 2000)
Wish your PDA, computer and smartphone could chat? Three companies are developing the means to synchronize all your networked devices.

Sorry, No Vacancy (September 20, 1999)
Forget about Y2K. Ten years from now you might not even be able to get on the Internet.

The Next Great Thing (July 12, 1999)
Computer companies and smart-phone makers compete to build the next generation of handheld devices.

The Future Is at Hand (July 09, 1999)
Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky started a revolution with their PalmPilot. Now, a newer generation of handheld devices is about to create the Net's second gold rush.

Home (page) on the Range (May 24, 1999)
Not since the industrial revolution has the farming industry seen the kind of change brought by the Internet.

Turning Crime Into Commerce (April 26, 1999)
Visitors poaching your content? Make them partners

Psst -- Want to Buy a Keyword? (March 19, 1999)
Search engines have been selling advertisements against keywords for some time. They may be breaking the law.

LP to CD to MP3 (December 04, 1998)
No matter how hard the record companies try to stop it, the MP3 audio format is the future of music.

Life After Jon Postel (October 26, 1998)
The death of one of the Net's guardians comes at a critical time. He'll be sorely missed.

The Future of Search Engines (September 25, 1998)
It's not always easy to find what you're looking for on the Web. Three new players offer technology to make the search process a whole lot less painful.

Master of Your Domain: Jon Postel (July 10, 1998)
You may not have heard of Jon Postel, but you can't surf the Web without him. An inside look at the man behind the Internet's address system.

MetaCreations Streams Onto the Net (May 04, 1998)
New CEO Gary Lauer, with a little help from Intel, hopes to build the RealAudio of 3D.

Camgirls (June, 2002)
They're online and underage. And they'll trade you a peek if you fulfill their Wish Lists.

To The Bidder End (October, 1999)
Net auctions are changing the economy.

The Net's Chop Shops (October, 1998)
Welcome to The Home Shoplifiting Network.


Seduction of the Degenerate (December 12, 2002)
Rebel Visions and the underground-comics revolution.

Me and Ukie Against the World (February 1-7, 2002)
An ex-British Invasion pop star delivers Tin Pan Alley on demand.

How I Came to Love the Dingbat (October, 1999)
Los Angeles is full of dingbats - boxy two-story apartments supported by stilts, with open stalls below for parking. You couldn't make an uglier building if you tried. I used to hate dingbats. But no longer. I've learned to look at dingbats the same way other people look at orchids.

The Island Chronicles: Islomane No More (October 10, 2003)

The Island Chronicles: Hospital Visit (October 3, 2003)

The Island Chronicles: The House Call (September 26, 2003)

The Island Chronicles: The Pickup (September 19, 2003)

The Island Chronicles: Kookoo for Coconuts (September 12, 2003)

The Island Chronicles: You’ve Got Ringworm (September 5, 2003)

The Island Chronicles: The Welcoming Dance (August 29, 2003)

The Island Chronicles: Friends (August 22, 2003)

The Island Chronicles: First Day of School (August 15, 2003)

The Island Chronicles: House Hunting (August 1, 2003)

King Kukulele's Tiki Paradise (February 6, 2002)
If the original Trader Vic had owned an apartment complex, this is how it might have looked.

Man Against the FUD (May, 1999)
How Eric Raymond became the ambassador for the open-source movement -- and why he hasn't quit.

Blogging - Weblogs
WHAT CAN YOU WRITE ABOUT A WEB SITE, BESIDES "IT'S COOL," OR "IT'S NOT COOL.?" wondered Jorn Barger. But when you link to an interesting article within a site, there's plenty to write about, and if you're smart, funny, or outrageous, eventually you're going to get a following of regular visitors--as Barger does, in his extraordinary and eclectic Robot Wisdom (www.robotwisdom.com), one of a growing breed of self-expressive Web sites for which Barger coined the term "weblogs."

Helping Your Kids Kick Sugar
100 years ago, Americans ate about 10 pounds of sugar a year. Now, they eat over 150 pounds a year. By body weight, children consume even more than adults.

Free License to Search
As the Web grows, a scalable open source approach to indexing is helping search engines keep up.

For the last couple of years, I've been studying the designer subcultures and pocket universes on the Web and interviewing the leaders of these Net Tribes. I wrote these article for Wired News, where I worked as an editor.

Interview with Mark Frauenfelder and Carla Sinclair
Where we talk about our zine, bOING bOING, and our book, The Happy Mutant Handbook.

The Near-Space Race
Mail-order model rocketry, once popular among suburban teens, is not just for youngsters anymore. The kids have grown up -- and so have the rockets.

Slaves to the View-Master
The once futuristic plaything has become a retro pastime for many modern adults.

Virtual Sadism
The world of norns gets creepier with the appearance of a torturer in the breeding community.

Meet HAL's Ancestors
Can computers think? Frauenfelder probes deep into the culture of artificial-intelligence programming -- from chatterbots to the Turing Test.

Light Fuse and Get Away
Fringe shines a light on the fiery passions of pyrotechnics.

Siege Engineers
Frauenfelder throws himself into a study of the trebuchet - love child of the see-saw and the sling shot.

Electric Hotrods
AC or DC, these car enthusiasts believe that their vehicles are the way of the future.

Bolts of Volts
Most people have seen Tesla coils -- two poles with a bolt of electricity crackling up the space between them -- in science fiction films. Coilers are the dedicated tinkerers that build their own.

Absinthe Devotees: The Green Fog
While revivalists of the outlawed liquor take their inspiration from 19th century artistic ne'er do-wells, they gather their resources on the Web.

Robots from Rubbish
BEAMers create small autonomous robots which rely on discarded analog materials instead of expensive, power-hungry computer brains. The lean machines can display surprisingly smart behavior - and killer survival instincts.

Stone-Age Hardware Hackers
Enthusiasts preserve traditional technology, using tools made of rock and bone. Cutting-edge materials, 2.5 million years ago.

The Plastic Fantastics
Aficionados of 1960s design aren't the hippies you might think. These fans are straight-up students of the era who are serious collectors, to boot.

Fun with Dead People
All sorts of businesses - from mainstream mags to the pushers of kitsch commemoratives - rake in the bucks when celebrities die. Alongside the memory-mongers, though, a blackly humorous subculture thrives: Dead pools.

Let's Go Thrifting
In this installment of Fringe, we examine the people who've perfected the art of "buying for the experience of buying" for pennies on the dollar.

Human Guinea Pigs
Now that a network of zine readers is trading advice and swapping stories, probed persons no longer have to take it on faith that research facilities are respectable and comfortable.

Erotibots and the Guys Who Love 'Em
Deep down in the alt.sex Usenet hierarchy, there dwells a newsgroup devoted to the erotic qualities of robots, mannequins, and statues.

PEZ-Heads Unite
Collectors have taken the cult around the candy dispensers online in a big way.

My Pet is a Six-Legged Cannibal
Many new-media offices and college dorms are homes to praying mantids and their keepers. The robot-like appearance and cannibalistic behavior are like geek magnets.

The Supersonic Spudster
Sometimes, for nerds to satisfy their primal urges, potatoes must explode.

Polynesian Pop Preservationists
Mark Frauenfelder's weekly Fringe column looks at the tiki worshippers as masters of Polynesian Pop preservation.

Fun with Fundies
Postfundamentalist Poppy Dixon believes that Christianity is a very interesting religion. Unfortunately, most Christians don't want to talk about the good parts. That's where her Web site comes in.

The ASCII Artists
A culture of Net dwellers believes that a picture's worth a thousand words - especially if they create it out of nothing but numbers, letters, and a little punctuation.

Hating AOL above All Else
AOL Haters are single-minded in venting their spleen.

Scarface Goes a-Gamin'
The online gaming panel at Web Market Hollywood features CEOs talking like drug dealers.

Software Toys to Disgust and Amuse
Dada Software Moguls just want attention, and don't mind ruffling feathers to get it.

Digital DNA Swap Meet
Would-be gods gather on the Net to obsess over their Creatures.

Harsh on Spam
Mark Frauenfelder takes an anthropological interest in the righteous fervor of spambusters.

Pornucopia of Posteriors
Mark Frauenfelder's new weekly column on the anthropology of the digital world. First up: The Crotch Potato.

Kooky, Kooky, Lend Me Your URL
Entertained by crackpots, Mark Frauenfelder finds that bullshit on the Web is valuable fertilizer for wild ideas.

I was a columnist in 1997 for a section in Hotwired called Packet.

Emotional Blackmail - Your Ticket to Riches!
A one-two sucker-punch approach to foolproof Web marketing success: cute, furry companions and extra guilt.
Spam Libs
Bulk email spawns ingenious offensives from the masses
My Spammer Dream Date
Messing with email abusers can be an art in itself
Students of failed media are creating a new communications model: Sociomedia.

Snailmail from the 21st Century
What the Net might look like in the overregulated next millennium
Everything You Know Is Wrong
How DisInformation and other lefty DIY sites offer tours of Net subculture
Not in *My* Newsgroup!
Usenet newsgroups grow their own protective forces to fight spammers and lusers

Arts and Crap
Anyone can set up shop and sell their handmade wares on the Web. Unfortunately, that means most of it blows.
DIY Mafia
The Mob is losing market share to online con men and dealers. Where are the Feds when you need 'em?
Kookology Today
Bullshit on the Web serves as valuable fertilizer for wild ideas
Out of Control at the EPNOT Center
Walt Disney would just hate the Web. It's a rough neighborhood.

Hi Calvin!