The Only Truly Intimate Online Experience Left

The internet has long promised a certain kind of connection between people, one that is now close to being fulfilled: We can reach anyone, at any time, anywhere! But while the web was born in plain text in IRC chat rooms and messageboards, our online conversations were supposed to be multimedia, dynamic, and visual by… » 12/16/14 1:16pm Tuesday 1:16pm

Tracking a Gadget’s Journey From the Mine to Beneath the Christmas Tree

Imagine you're in the middle of the Pacific ocean. Behind you is China, below you are thousands of tons of consumer goods destined for faraway ports, then stores, then maybe a spot beneath a Christmas tree. You are part of a vast economy that supplies the things we buy—a galaxy of cities, systems, and people that is… » 12/10/14 2:05pm 12/10/14 2:05pm

How Facebook Is Hacking Together a Better Data Center 

Data centers are boring. They have to be; these are spaces of control, consistency, security. You wouldn't expect to find much creativity inside the plain facades of these highly-regulated structures—much less hacked-together experiments involving robotic Blu-ray storage systems and thousands of Mac Minis.
» 12/03/14 1:20pm 12/03/14 1:20pm

How to Explain Net Neutrality to Your Relatives: A Thanksgiving Guide

Thanksgiving is almost here, and that means turkey, mashed potatoes, and getting peppered with questions about tech-related news stories because hey, you read a bunch of blogs and you even know what a yik-yak is! It's only a matter of time before they ask you "So what's up with that thing on the internets?" » 11/26/14 12:25pm 11/26/14 12:25pm

Why People Keep Trying to Erase the Hollywood Sign From Google Maps

The Hollywood Sign might be one of the most recognizable things on Earth. In Los Angeles, it's also one of the most visible. You can see it from a plane as you glide into LAX. You can see it from a car as you drive up the 101 freeway. But a group of people who live near the sign are trying to hide it, even as it looms… » 11/21/14 1:42pm 11/21/14 1:42pm

The Nostalgia Nerds Who Rescue Old Games From Oblivion

Do you remember the first computer game you played? What about the first program you downloaded? Unless you've just emerged Brendan-Fraser-in-Encino Man-style from the earth, wholly unaware of computers (in which case, I have several questions for you), your early digital distractions are probably years, if not… » 11/21/14 10:45am 11/21/14 10:45am

Riding an E-Bike Built Like a GoKart Is as Fun as It Sounds

What if you could enjoy the benefits of a bike and the benefits of a car at the same time? Sojourn Labs, a Toronto-based startup, is prototyping a new kind of vehicle built to bridge the gap between bikes and cars, aiming for that happy medium of convenience and safety. The basic idea: A hybrid combining the exercise… » 11/12/14 2:35pm 11/12/14 2:35pm

How Much Money Big Cable Gave the Politicians Who Oversee the Internet

Minutes after President Obama unveiled his plan for net neutrality yesterday, Republicans leaders like Ted Cruz came out swinging. You can chalk up the backlash to more than just partisan spite; Cruz has taken his share of campaign money from telecom giants. And he's far from the exception. » 11/11/14 1:55pm 11/11/14 1:55pm

It's Time to Kill the Phone Call

The phone call isn't dead. Despite what many a journalist/blogger/paranoid internet commenter might have you believe, smartphones can indeed still dial out. Of course, that doesn't mean it's not in the process of dying. And if you have even a shred of decency about you, you'll help take it out back Old-Yeller-style… » 11/11/14 12:00pm 11/11/14 12:00pm

A Tour of 'San Fransokyo,' the Hybrid City Disney Built for Big Hero 6

The new movie Big Hero 6 represents the first-ever partnership between Marvel and Disney, two entities known for constructing fantastical universes. So it's not surprising that bringing the story to film also required building an entire city of the future: a blend of Tokyo and San Francisco named San Fransokyo. » 11/10/14 12:35pm 11/10/14 12:35pm

25 Years After the Wall Fell, Berlin Is a Haven for Cyber Rebellion

It's been exactly 25 years since the wall came down and Berlin—a city that was once the epicenter of a worldwide ideological struggle—took its first, daunting steps toward reunification. Despite all odds, the graft took. And today the scar the wall left is so faint that unless you know what to look for, it's… » 11/09/14 11:00am 11/09/14 11:00am

How Businessweek Is Reinventing the Magazine Cover

Chances are a Bloomberg Businessweek cover has stopped you in your tracks at some point: Maybe it was the brilliant cat hurricane GIF, or airplanes humping mid-air, or the most anti-Apple typography ever slapped over Tim Cook's face. But behind the provocative graphic design is a smart strategy that's changing the way… » 11/06/14 10:12am 11/06/14 10:12am

Yes, Time Travel Is Possible; Here's How

Time travel's been one of man's wildest fantasies for centuries. It's long been a popular trend in movies and fiction, inspiring everything from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol to H.G. Wells' The Time Machine to the Charlton Heston shrine that is The Planet of the Apes. And with the opening of Interstellar » 11/05/14 1:25pm 11/05/14 1:25pm