Video: flying through a pneumatic tube system

A camera flies through a pneumatic tube system like those found in libraries, banks, or in government buildings (such as this one in Norway.) It's fun to imagine that this is what it will be like riding in Elon Musk's Hyperloop. For more on pneumatic tube systems, check out this talk below by Molly Wright Steenson:

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USB charger in a knife form factor

Brunton saw me coming when they came up with their Power Knife Multi Charger integrating a standard USB to Apple Lightning, 30-Pin, and Micro-USB. Sharp, but spendy at $25. Read the rest

Steven Levy's Backchannel

Veteran tech journalist Steven Levy, author of the seminal books Hackers and Crypto, launched his new tech hub Backchannel over at Medium. Read the rest

Mini-documentary about the world's largest e-waste dump

Agbogbloshie in Accra, Ghana is the world's largest dump for electronic waste from all over the globe. Meet the teenagers who tend it in this short film, Regolith, directed by Sam Goldwater. Read the rest

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World

Steven Johnson blends the history of science with keen social observation to tell the story of how our modern world came about—and where it's headed. Cory Doctorow reviews How We Got to Now, also a six-part PBS/BBC series, which ties together a lifetime of work

Great ideas that changed the world, and the people they rode in on

To inaugurate the publication of his brilliant new book How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World (also a PBS/BBC TV series), Steven Johnson has written about the difficult balance between reporting on the history of world-changing ideas and the inventors credited with their creation Read the rest

Twitter funds MIT Laboratory for Social Machines

Twitter committed $10 million to the MIT Media Lab to create a Laboratory for Social Machines that will study social systems, build tools for "social engagement and change," and deploy "social machines — networked human-machine collaboratives." Read the rest

Steven Johnson: the flashbulb and urban poverty

Over at Medium, Steven Johnson, author of How We Got To Now, writes about how the 19th century invention of flash photography shined a light on poverty.

"Flash Forward: How We Got To Know" Read the rest

Security cruft means every exploit lives forever

Security failures will live on forever, because protocols have no sell-by date. Glenn Fleishman exposes the eternity we face with broken software.

Ridiculously massive TiVo

Available early next year, the TiVo Mega has 24TB of hot swappable RAID storage, 6 tuners, includes a lifetime TiVo subscription, and costs $5,000. Load it with years of shows you'll never watch! Read the rest

Bruce Sterling's "The Epic Struggle of the Internet of Things"

It's a new long-form essay in the tradition of Sterling's must-read, groundbreaking 2005 book Shaping Things, a critical perspective on what it means to have a house full of "smart" stuff that answers to giant corporations and the states that exert leverage over them. Read the rest

Averaging thousands of images into one

UC Berkeley researchers demonstrated software that averages thousands of similar photo to create a single representative image, like this wedding shot. Users can also refine and weight specific features within the source pool of photos to refine the average image. Read the rest

Tech Review's annual science fiction issue, edited by Bruce Sterling, featuring William Gibson

The summer annual features stories "inspired by the real-life breakthroughs covered in the pages of MIT Technology Review," including "Petard," my story about hacktivism; and "Death Cookie/Easy Ice," an excerpt from William Gibson's forthcoming (and stone brilliant) futuristic novel The Peripheral. Read the rest

Digital tools have a mind of their own: yours

Clive Thompson says that there are three principal biases that today's digital tools introduce to human thought.

Affecting sculpture about our relationship to technology

Soheyl Bastami's Extreme: an Iranian sculptor's beautiful and trenchant take on our relationship to technology.

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Can technology become a force for global equality, or is the future destined to remain unfair?

Here's video from a debate I participated in at last summer's Howthelightgetsin festival in Wales, with the BBC's Kate Russell and Steve Fuller, an advocate for creationism and transhumanism, who said some pretty silly things, as you might expect. Read the rest

Video: Hollywood depictions of texting and the Internet

By Tony Zhou. Read the rest

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