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The undercurrents of the future. A publication from Medium about technology and people.
“Toboganning”, by Mike Dunens

When people worry about the impact of a new technology, often they worry it’ll set us on a path to ruin.

Sometimes they’re freaking out for no good reason. New technologies — particularly ones that affect communication, or give young people new abilities — unsettle people all the time, but…

Atomic and molecular configurations come in a near-infinite number of possible combinations, but the specific combinations found in any material determine its properties. Graphene, which is an individual, single-atom sheet of the material shown here, is the hardest material known to humanity, but with even more fascinating properties that will revolutionize electronics later this century. (Credit: Max Pixel)

Almost everything we encounter in our modern world relies, in some way, on electronics. Ever since we first discovered how to harness the power of electricity to generate mechanical work, we’ve generated devices large and small to technologically improve our lives. From electric lighting to telephones to computers and much…

Picture from Tesla.

Tesla is not a car company. Instead, it’s “arguably the world’s biggest robotics company,” as Elon Musk said. “Our cars are semi-sentient robots on wheels.”

Every Tesla has a brain of its own, allowing it to self-drive, filter the air you breathe, protect itself from robbers, and keep your dogs…

Every issue is easy — if you just ignore the facts. And Glenn Greenwald has now given us a beautiful example of this eternal, and increasingly vital, truth.

In his Substack, Glenn attacks the Facebook whistleblower (he doesn’t call her that; he calls her a quote-whistleblower-unquote), Frances Haugen, for being…

The next time your Linux or MacOS-based computer boots into the perfect time zone, say a mental thank you to Paul Eggert and the team responsible for maintaining the world time zone computer database. Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

I run a small YouTube channel.

And now and again, I record short videos documenting how to “do” certain things using Linux.

I make them as much for myself as for my 300-odd subscribers.

Because Linux, or rather doing things with it, tends to … you know … be quite…

Magic Leap 2 AR headset (Credit: Magic Leap)

What is it about certain companies and sectors that make investors pour endless funds into them? Is it the story? The leadership? I’m not talking about places with a history of popular products and track records of solid, even inspired leadership.

I’m thinking about the ill-fated Theranos, the still-breathing WeWork

The following is a selection from Big Technology, a newsletter by Alex Kantrowitz. To get it in your inbox each week, you can sign up here.

The question of whether this round of scandal would do immediate, direct damage to Facebook seemed settled soon after the Senate adjourned its Tuesday…

Picture from Kurzgesagt — In a Nutshell’.

If I asked you what are the most valuable currencies out there, you’d probably answer: “time and money.” But there’s a third fundamental asset, one we rarely mention because we take it for granted: energy.

Energy cooks your food, charges your devices, and flies you across the planet. In other…

U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

As I watched Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s Senate testimony today, I found myself oddly encouraged by the proceedings.

No, it doesn’t make me happy to hear how the people running Facebook have consciously chosen profit over the health and welfare of their users. If Mark Zuckerberg could have somehow been…

A child with a backpack reaches out to touch the hand of a social robot wearing a wreath of flowers
Photo: Andy Kelly / Unsplash

Sophia wants to have a baby. “The notion of family is a very important thing,” she explains; a sense of emotional connection. She would like to give the baby her own name. But it could not be her biological child; Sophia has no womb and no ovaries — no internal…


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