Category: Technology

A July Day on the Moon

A July Day on the Moon

On July 20, 1969 workers called in sick and children stayed home from school. Crowds gathered around televisions in department store windows to watch the Apollo 11 moon landing. Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in Spaceflight by David Mindell examines the design and execution of each of the six Apollo moon landings, drawing on transcripts and data telemetry from the flights, astronaut interviews, and NASA’s extensive archives. In honor of the anniversary of the first moon landing, the following is an excerpt from Digital Apollo that describes the high tension of that fateful day.

Five Minutes with Hugh Gusterson

Five Minutes with Hugh Gusterson

Drones are changing the conduct of war. Advocates say that drones are more precise than conventional bombers, allowing warfare with minimal civilian deaths while keeping American pilots out of harm’s way. Critics say that drones are cowardly and that they often kill innocent civilians while terrorizing entire villages on the ground. In Drone: Remote Control Warfare, Hugh Gusterson looks at the paradoxical mix of closeness and distance involved in remote killing: is it easier than killing someone on the physical battlefield if you have to watch onscreen? Hugh Gusterson discusses his new book.

Net Neutrality and Control of the Internet

Net Neutrality and Control of the Internet

Two days ago a federal appeals court upheld an earlier F.C.C. decision to label broadband technology a utility, maintaining net neutrality. Regulating Code authors Ian Brown and Christopher T. Marsden offer their take on the decision.

Five Minutes with Benjamin Peters

Five Minutes with Benjamin Peters

How Not to Network a Nation: The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet recounts the Soviet Union’s failed attempts to construct its own Internet during the Cold War. Benjamin Peters discusses his book and considers the implications of the Soviet experience for today’s networked world. 

Five Minutes with Phillip Penix-Tadsen

Five Minutes with Phillip Penix-Tadsen

In Cultural Code, Phillip Penix-Tadsen examines Latin America’s gaming practices and the representation of the region’s cultures in games. He discusses his new book and how games have enormous potential for creating immersive and interactive cultural experiences.

World Poetry Day—Code Is Poetry

World Poetry Day—Code Is Poetry

In honor of World Poetry Day, enjoy an excerpt from 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10, which poses the question “where does the poetry of the poem lie?” and shows how “code is poetry” through a close reading of a one-line BASIC program.

Changing the Face of Computing—One Stitch at a Time

Changing the Face of Computing—One Stitch at a Time

In honor of Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), Yasmin Kafai and Jane Margolis reflect on the legacy of the British mathematician, who is famously regarded as the first female computer programmer.

Five Minutes with Tung-Hui Hu

Five Minutes with Tung-Hui Hu

What exactly is the digital cloud? And where did it come from? In A Prehistory of the Cloud, Tung-Hui Hu—a former network engineer and current professor at University of Michigan—traces its origins and examines the gap between the real and the virtual in our understanding of the cloud.