1. The problem today is that we have very aging weapons systems — both in the United States and Russia. It’s very old technology. Our principal nuclear bomber, the B-52, hasn’t been built since John F. Kennedy was president. Our principal land-based missile, the Minuteman III, was put into the ground originally in 1970. [It] was supposed to be retired in the early 1980s, and the infrastructure is aging — the wiring, the computers in our Minuteman launch complexes use 9-inch floppy discs.

    — Eric Schlosser, author of Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety

  2. fresh air

    interview

    eric schlosser

    nuclear weapons

    technology

    command and control

  1. Fresh Air tech contributor Alexis Madgrigal writes that Pinterest could be a competitor with Google search: 

    Pinterest is mostly known as a place people go to find things to buy or make. The company likes to say that Pinterest is about planning your future, but it’s also just about seeing – visually — a bunch of interesting stuff on a theme, all in one place. So there are boards for wedding planning and child rearing and men’s linen suits, but also for kittens and model airplanes and mountains. Some boards are just a mood like “monumental” or “cute” or “adventurous.”

    Despite this popularity, Pinterest has never attracted the same kind of press or adulation as the companies that grew up around the same time — businesses like Instagram, Uber or even Dropbox. Pinterest just isn’t seen as a hardcore technology company that will follow the path of Google and Facebook. To some people, it doesn’t feel like a world-shaping product. “It’s just a digital scrapbook,” people say.

    But Internet companies are valuable in large part because of the kind of data that they possess. And Pinterest possesses some really, really interesting data. The first part of it is that they are a repository of things that people would like to have or do. They’re a database of intentions. And that has got to be valuable to marketers and advertisers.

    But it goes deeper than that. What Pinterest has created — almost unintentionally — is a database of things in the world that matter to human beings. While Google crunches numbers to figure out what’s relevant, Pinterest’s human users define what is relevant for a given topic. And because of that, they could become a legitimate competitor to Google, the world’s most valuable Internet company.

    Read the full essay

  2. pinterest

    google

    technology

    alexis madrigal

  1. Fresh Air tech contributor Alexis Madrigal says soon we could be swallowing mini computers with our pills: 

What if you could swallow a computer the size of a poppy seed, and it could report back exactly if and when you took a medicine while recording how your body responded to the drug?
It sounds crazy, but the tiny computers exist. It sounds dangerous, but they were approved by the Food and Drug Administration. And the company that makes them, Proteus, has tens of millions of dollars and relationships with some of the biggest drug companies in the world, including Novartis.
David O’Reilly, the chief product officer at Proteus, says he believes that someday soon every single pill a doctor prescribes will come with an electronic component embedded right in it that tracks the pill’s absorption in your body.


Here’s how it works

image via techie feed View in High-Res

    Fresh Air tech contributor Alexis Madrigal says soon we could be swallowing mini computers with our pills: 

    What if you could swallow a computer the size of a poppy seed, and it could report back exactly if and when you took a medicine while recording how your body responded to the drug?

    It sounds crazy, but the tiny computers exist. It sounds dangerous, but they were approved by the Food and Drug Administration. And the company that makes them, Proteus, has tens of millions of dollars and relationships with some of the biggest drug companies in the world, including Novartis.

    David O’Reilly, the chief product officer at Proteus, says he believes that someday soon every single pill a doctor prescribes will come with an electronic component embedded right in it that tracks the pill’s absorption in your body.

    Here’s how it works

    image via techie feed

  2. technology

    medicine

    computers

    alexis madrigal

    fresh air

  1. Fresh Air Weekend 6/13 - John Waters on his new book Carsick, Mike Myers on his new documentary Supermensch about Hollywood manager Shep Gordon, and Alexis Madrigal comments on the technology of conference calls.

  2. john waters

    supermensch

    technology

    fresh air

    interview

  1. Fresh Air tech contributor Alexis Madrigal considers the conference call and how the way we communicate with coworkers has changed: 

Every day, at 6:30am, I join a conference call with colleagues on the east coast. I call an 800-number, then enter a six-digit conference room number, then a pin number. And despite the group remaining largely unchanged, once a week, something goes wrong. When I conference with outsiders, there’s a problem every other call.


There’s the oops-I-got-the-wrong-dial-in problem. There’s the pin-number-is-too-long-to-remember problem. There’s the-is-so-and-so-on-the-line problem. And the someone-hasn’t-muted-the-line-and-is-a-mouth-breather-problem. Meetings are convened to bring people together, and yet our conference calls prevent communication as often as they enable it.


So, what’s going on? Why hasn’t some tech startup fixed this? The key problem with conference calls is that they attempt to connect various telecom networks that have been built on top of the legacy phone network, which is as old as Alexander Graham Bell. We’re all trying to hack this nearly century old system of communication to fit the needs of a world that wants everything to act like the Internet. 


Read the full piece (or hear it!) HERE. 

    Fresh Air tech contributor Alexis Madrigal considers the conference call and how the way we communicate with coworkers has changed:

    Every day, at 6:30am, I join a conference call with colleagues on the east coast. I call an 800-number, then enter a six-digit conference room number, then a pin number. And despite the group remaining largely unchanged, once a week, something goes wrong. When I conference with outsiders, there’s a problem every other call.

    There’s the oops-I-got-the-wrong-dial-in problem. There’s the pin-number-is-too-long-to-remember problem. There’s the-is-so-and-so-on-the-line problem. And the someone-hasn’t-muted-the-line-and-is-a-mouth-breather-problem. Meetings are convened to bring people together, and yet our conference calls prevent communication as often as they enable it.

    So, what’s going on? Why hasn’t some tech startup fixed this? The key problem with conference calls is that they attempt to connect various telecom networks that have been built on top of the legacy phone network, which is as old as Alexander Graham Bell. We’re all trying to hack this nearly century old system of communication to fit the needs of a world that wants everything to act like the Internet.

    Read the full piece (or hear it!) HERE. 

  2. technology

    alexis madrigal

    conference call

    fresh air

  1. Our tech contributor Alexis Madrigal on what’s just down the road for driverless cars

    If you’ve heard about autonomous vehicles, cars that drive themselves, you probably associate them with Google, which is working on fully autonomous vehicles that will drive us to and fro while we’re safely texting on our Android phones from the passenger seat.

    Not to be outdone by a tech company, the traditional car makers have major development programs, too.  The Mercedes S500 Intelligent Drive concept vehicle (above) recently drove 100 kilometers between German cities, Nissan has promised some kind of autonomous vehicle by 2020.   And GM’s EN-V concept car is a funny little electric pod that would detect pedestrians in a crosswalk and automatically slow the vehicle.  It could also communicate with smart infrastructure and traffic optimization apps to, say, detect that a drawbridge is up and plot a route around it. Ford imagines packs of vehicles sensing their surroundings with stubby, horn-like antennae and communicating about traffic conditions amongst themselves.

    You can read the full piece here.

     

    video by TechnologicVehicles 

  2. driverless cars

    technology

    alexis madrgial

    mercedes

    cars

    google

  1. Posted on 7 September, 2012

    2,492 notes | Permalink

    Reblogged from jaymug

    nprmusic:
No. words. Should. have. sent. a. poet. —Lars
Our haiku response: Now that box. Can be cleaned out. View in High-Res

    nprmusic:

    No. words. Should. have. sent. a. poet. —Lars

    Our haiku response: Now that box. Can be cleaned out.

    (Source: jaymug)

  2. iphone

    cassette

    cool gadgets

    technology

  1. A lot of young people often describe and evolve their identities online, curating them 24/7. So their relationships with others and their self-image are deeply affected by the images that they present on Facebook, Google+ and elsewhere.

    — And Tumblr? [full interview here]

  2. internet

    technology

  1. If you’re sitting out on the network, it’s very difficult to determine what is being said during a Skype conversation. So one way around that is to put some intrusion technology on the target’s computer. So basically you’re seeing all the keystrokes and hearing all the conversation before it becomes encrypted. There are some technologies that boast about their abilities to do this.

    — On today’s Fresh Air, Bloomberg News’ reporter Ben Elgin talks about how Western companies are providing software/technology that allows repressive regimes like Syria and Iran to spy on their citizens. 

  2. middle east

    technology

    surveillance

  1. At the moment, lawyers at Facebook and Google and Microsoft have more power over the future of privacy and free expression than any king or president or Supreme Court justice. And we can’t rely simply on judges enforcing the existing Constitution to protect the values that the Framers took for granted.

    — On today’s Fresh Air, legal scholar Jeffrey Rosen talks about technologies that are challenging our notions of things like personal vs. private space, freedom of speech and our own individual autonomy.

  2. law

    constitution

    technology

    privacy

    jeffrey rosen

  1. Tomorrow: how new technology is challenging our notion of Constitutional values like privacy and freedom of speech. We’ll be talking with law professor Jeffrey Rosen about technology, the future of democracy, free speech, privacy, surveillance cameras, data mining and the effect of neuroscience on the law.

Constitution of the United States of America (by The U.S. National Archives)

    Tomorrow: how new technology is challenging our notion of Constitutional values like privacy and freedom of speech. We’ll be talking with law professor Jeffrey Rosen about technology, the future of democracy, free speech, privacy, surveillance cameras, data mining and the effect of neuroscience on the law.

    Constitution of the United States of America (by The U.S. National Archives)

  2. jeffery rosen

    technology

    privacy

    constitution

    democracy

    law

  1. jaredbkeller:

Before The Aircraft Carrier: The Union Army Balloon Corp
 
Beginning in 1861, the Union Army had an active balloon corp. The Union Army Balloon Corp, led by presidential appointee Thaddeus S. C. Lowe, consisted of seven vessels, the largest at 32,000 cubic feet, used primarily for reconnaissance and surveilling Confederate troops. Most of these units were launched from ground bases; seaborne balloons had only been utilized once before, in 1849, when an Austrian vessel, Vulcano, launched a failed attempt to bomb Venice with manned hot air balloons.
The Union did not utilize a maritime vessel as a staging area until August of 1961. Lowe, with the assistance of fellow aeronaut John LaMountain, directed the construction of the first real aircraft carrier. The two rebuilt a coal barge, the George Washington Parke Custis, gutting the deck of its rigging to accommodate gas generators and a flight deck superstructure. TheCustis was part of its own battle group, towed by the Stepping Stone and accompanying sloop Wachusett, the gunboats Tioga and Port Royal, and the armed transport Delaware during the course of its operational lifespan.
Read the full article here.

Very cool. However. Somehow “Balloon Corps” has a less intimidating ring to it than “Air Force.”
— braiker

    jaredbkeller:

    Before The Aircraft Carrier: The Union Army Balloon Corp

    Beginning in 1861, the Union Army had an active balloon corp. The Union Army Balloon Corp, led by presidential appointee Thaddeus S. C. Lowe, consisted of seven vessels, the largest at 32,000 cubic feet, used primarily for reconnaissance and surveilling Confederate troops. Most of these units were launched from ground bases; seaborne balloons had only been utilized once before, in 1849, when an Austrian vessel, Vulcanolaunched a failed attempt to bomb Venice with manned hot air balloons.

    The Union did not utilize a maritime vessel as a staging area until August of 1961. Lowe, with the assistance of fellow aeronaut John LaMountain, directed the construction of the first real aircraft carrier. The two rebuilt a coal barge, the George Washington Parke Custis, gutting the deck of its rigging to accommodate gas generators and a flight deck superstructure. TheCustis was part of its own battle group, towed by the Stepping Stone and accompanying sloop Wachusett, the gunboats Tioga and Port Royal, and the armed transport Delaware during the course of its operational lifespan.

    Read the full article here.

    Very cool. However. Somehow “Balloon Corps” has a less intimidating ring to it than “Air Force.”

    braiker

    (Source: jaredbkeller)

  2. history

    technology