July 20, 2016
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.
July 18, 2016
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.
June 16, 2016
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.
May 24, 2016
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.
March 29, 2016
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.
March 21, 2016
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.
December 28, 2015
How can technology be used to help the migration crisis in Europe? Joseph Bock, author of The Technology of Nonviolence, shares thoughts from Greece.
October 13, 2015
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.
October 7, 2015
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.