Technology

Open Mike

Ben SchwartzMarch 23, 2017
Gage Skidmore
Gage Skidmore

It is with a heavy heart that I must report that Huckabee is at it again. That is, the ex-governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, has tweeted a new joke. Over the last year, Huckabee has gained a reputation as one Twitter’s high-profile joke writers.

De-Muslimization

Rafia ZakariaFebruary 27, 2017
Ervins Strauhmanis
Ervins Strauhmanis

In Trump’s America, that “terrorist” label is cast in indelible ink. The previous precautions would not suffice, I realized. It was not just what was visible, but everything that was searchable that was now at play. A reversal had taken place.

Turn On, Tune In, Disrupt Something

Scott BeauchampFebruary 09, 2017
Ken down the hall is microdosing. Can you really afford not to keep up? / Wikimedia Commons
Ken down the hall is microdosing. Can you really afford not to keep up? / Wikimedia Commons

There’s a direct line to be drawn between the counterfeit “at one with everything” consciousness revelations of the Golden Gate Park Human Be-In and the phony “disruption” revolutions of Palo Alto today. You can “Turn on, Tune in, Drop” without missing this year’s hottest IPOs.

The Attention Deficit

Will MeyerFebruary 03, 2017
Attention merchants. / Wikimedia commons
Attention merchants. / Wikimedia commons

Once upon a time a lot of hope was invested in adblockers. Many saw them as a way to halt the blight of online advertising. The thinking was that if everyone got adblockers, it would not only make the ads disappear, but it might make the internet a more enjoyable place, too.

#DeleteUber, Delete Everything

Jacob SilvermanFebruary 01, 2017
Screenshot of virtue. / Bit Boy
Screenshot of virtue. / Bit Boy

Like many billion-dollar startups, Uber is notorious for its self-regard. One nugget buried in this week’s news serves as a reminder: until a few days ago, Uber had no automated system to process users’ requests to delete their accounts.

Tech Meets Trump

Jacob SilvermanDecember 16, 2016
Hawaii Savvy
Hawaii Savvy

It’s clarifying to see the oligarchy assemble itself in the open. President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet selection show has offered a murderer’s row of venal billionaires, spousal abusers, wild-eyed ex-generals, Christian fundamentalists, racists, and the self-admittedly incompetent. Beyond a shared ideology, the common thread is Trump’s total obsession with money and success and his inability to see the world as anything but a series of business deals.

Cars Entering and Leaving Mosul

Sam KrissOctober 21, 2016
Joel Bombardier
Joel Bombardier

What they don’t tell you about the battle for Mosul is how boring it is, hour by hour, day by day. From my vantage point near the Iraqi village of Bartella, ISIS positions are visible in the smoke-filled distance, across the crinkled flatness of Nineveh; in front of me, gangs of weary Peshmerga fighters clump about in their fatigues as an endless line of armored cars trundles slowly through their ranks.

Our New War Machines

Scott BeauchampSeptember 12, 2016
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8139509919_308ff4b6a9_z-2

For an institution synonymous with tradition and continuity, the American military is in quite a radical state of flux. In just the six or so years since I left the Army, two major demographic shifts that might superficially appear unrelated (or even contradictory) have taken place within the Department of Defense.

Elon Musk, Fatalist

Daniel OberhausAugust 19, 2016
Elon Musk
Elon Musk

Odds are that you’ve heard by now that SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said something Totally Trippy at Recode’s Code conference earlier this summer. According to the darling of Silicon Valley, “the odds that we’re in base reality is one in billions,” meaning that we are almost certainly operating in a computer simulation created by some far-future civilization.

Flu in the Face

A. S. HamrahFebruary 04, 2016
Invasion of the Killer Bees. / M&R Glasgow
Invasion of the Killer Bees. / M&R Glasgow

Anyone who spends time in enclosed public spaces is barraged with images from television news, most often broadcast from the default network, CNN. We glimpse these images, with the sound down, for only seconds at a time as they bounce, germ-like, from corner to corner, chasing us on our way.

“He Sees You When You’re Sleeping”: The Baffler Gift Guide

Hannah GaisDecember 21, 2015
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15944856180_043acdca77_k

“You have zero privacy anyway,” Scott McNealy, the chief executive officer of Sun Microsystems, told reporters in 1999. “Get over it.”

McNealy, a trailblazer for the many Silicon Valley “makers” who have since thrown privacy under the bus, wasn’t wrong.

Thought Leaders as Loss Leaders

Chris LehmannDecember 02, 2015
Lars Plougmann
Lars Plougmann

The breathless, investor-beguiling fable that the next iteration of the Web has to be the smart one has been around long enough now to qualify as a touching millenarian faith, like the quadrennial fiction of a “deep” GOP presidential field, or the diehard belief that the Chicago Cubs will eventually make it all the way through the postseason.