Lenovo Joins the Malevolent Side of the Online Advertising Industry

On Wednesday evening, the news began to break on Twitter. Computer security analysts had discovered something nefarious about a piece of advertising software called Superfish, which comes pre-installed on cheap Lenovo laptops like the Yoga 2. Superfish was leaving the laptops wide open to takeover by malicious… » 2/20/15 2:10pm 2/20/15 2:10pm

Farewell, Radio Shack, and Farewell to the Twentieth Century

Last year, the Radio Shack in my neighborhood burned to the ground. We waited months for it to be rebuilt, and at last (joy!) it was — now I can walk up the street and buy weird connector cables and Arduino kits again. Unfortunately, Radio Shack the company isn't doing quite as well. In fact, it's about to go bankrupt. » 2/03/15 2:00pm 2/03/15 2:00pm

It may sound incredible but the Pillars of Creation don't exist anymore

This week NASA published new astonishing high definition images of the famous Pillars of Creation—two 4-light-year-tall columns located in the Eagle Nebula, 7,000 light years from here, first photographed in 1995. The only problem is that the pillars don't exist—they were destroyed more than a thousand years ago. » 1/10/15 7:15am 1/10/15 7:15am

I honestly thought this Return of the Jedi scene was real all my life

I keep getting my dreams shattered. When I was a kid I thought the Rebel Alliance hangar could have been a real stage but it was just one of many matte paintings, an example of ILM's visual sorcery. But the scene of the Emperor coming to the Death Star? I was absolutely, 100-percent convinced that it was real. » 1/09/15 6:16pm 1/09/15 6:16pm

The only reason we need to celebrate 2015—and every year until we die

The New Year is here. A unit of time that doesn't mean anything to the Universe—stars, planets, moons, comets, asteroids, quasars, dark matter, and the other living beings that for sure populate the cosmos don't care about the arbitrary dates that we little humans have created. And yet, we celebrate. » 1/01/15 6:46am 1/01/15 6:46am

The Interview: Only a Bad Movie Could Start This Culture War 

The Interview begins with a thought experiment. What if, tomorrow, North Korea demonstrated that it had nuclear missiles that could destroy the US from across the Pacific? The resulting movie is a mess, but as a political satire it obviously hit its mark. Here's why such a terrible flick started a culture war. » 12/25/14 8:56pm 12/25/14 8:56pm

Why Orion's launch is the best news for humanity in a long time

I have always been sad that I never got to see the beginning of humanity's ultimate journey—and even sadder to realize that in 1972 we abandoned a path that could have possibly gotten us to other planets by now. On December 5, 2014, we opened the gate to that path again. We should rejoice—we are going back to the… » 12/05/14 8:57am 12/05/14 8:57am

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

How To Turn Star Trek Into The Next Marvel Movie Universe

For anyone who has followed the film and television business in the last few years, they know one thing is true: mega-franchises are king. Right now, every studio is looking for its own version of Marvel's universe. But Paramount has one sitting right under its nose, and it's called Star Trek. » 10/07/14 6:40pm 10/07/14 6:40pm