How a student engineering challenge has changed the way we use space
The big metal box that made the internet possible
The clock was invented in 1656 and has become an essential part of the modern economy.
In August 2015, the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command, the military’s main cyber arm, were at a crossroads about how to respond to a new terrorist group that had burst on the scene with unrivaled ferocity and violence. The one thing on which everyone seemed to agree is that ISIS had found a way to do something other terrorist organizations had not: It had turned the Web into a weapon.
Nilay Patel interviews Paul Ford about his hopefulness in tech, his recent piece in Wired, and the state of building stuff for the web.
When we think of the people behind the most influential technological advances of our day, we usually imagine the leaders of the industry but forget the armies behind them: coders. Dedicated to the pursuit of higher efficiency, these lovers of logic and puzzles are able to withstand unbelievable amounts of frustration; they are arguably the most quietly influential people on the planet.
In his new book, Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World, Clive Thompson argues just that. Through increasingly pervasive artificial intelligence, coders have a larger and larger role to play. Thompson analyzes how embedded this industry is in our lives, questioning the lack of geographic and demographic diversity in the sector while outlining his optimistic view on the opportunities that this age of code can unlock. Join us for a conversation about this frequently misunderstood industry culture and a refreshingly enthusiastic take on its future.
Thompson is a freelance journalist and one of the most prominent technology writers. He is a longtime contributor to The New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired.
What Do We Know About the Moon?
July 20, 2019 is the 50th anniversary of humanity’s first steps on the surface of the moon. In that time, the Apollo missions, a fleet of robotic probes and observations from Earth have taught us a lot about Earth’s surprising satellite. In this nontechnical talk, Andrew Fraknoi, who is sometimes called the Bay Area’s public astronomer, will look at the past, present and future of the moon, including its violent origins, the mystery of the frozen water we have found at its poles and its long-term future as it moves farther and farther away from us. Illustrated with beautiful images taken from orbit and on the surface, his talk will make the moon come alive as an eerie world next door, as a changing object in our skies, and as a possible future destination for humanity and its ambitions. Come find out how the achievements of the Apollo program fit into the bigger picture of our involvement with our only natural satellite.
Fraknoi recently retired as the chair of the astronomy department at Foothill College and now teaches noncredit astronomy courses for seniors at the Fromm Institute at the University of San Francisco and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at San Francisco State. He also served as the executive director of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific for 14 years and was named the California professor of the year in 2007. Fraknoi appears regularly on local and national radio, explaining astronomical developments in everyday language. The International Astronomical Union has named Asteroid 4859 after Fraknoi in honor of his contributions to the public understanding of science.
We’re thrilled this week to be joined by Frances ‘Poppy’ Northcutt, who was a NASA Return-to-Earth Specialist during the Apollo missions and the first woman to work inside Mission Control! We talk about her experience as an engineer during Apollo, how the public remembers that era, and how media covered the moon landing.
Thanks so much to Poppy Northcutt for joining us this week! You can watch APOLLO: Missions to the Moon on National Geographic on July 7th!
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Tested is: Adam Savage http://www.twitter.com/donttrythis Norman Chan http://www.twitter.com/nchan Simone Giertz http://www.twitter.com/simonegiertz Joey Fameli http://www.joeyfameli.com Gunther Kirsch https://guntherkirsch.com Ryan Kiser https://www.instagram.com/ryan.kiser Kishore Hari http://www.twitter.com/sciencequiche Sean Charlesworth http://www.twitter.com/cworthdynamics Jeremy Williams http://www.twitter.com/jerware Kayte Sabicer https://twitter.com/kaytesabicer Bill Doran https://twitter.com/chinbeard Ariel Waldman http://www.twitter.com/arielwaldman Darrell Maloney http://www.twitter.com/thebrokennerd83 Kristen Lomasney https://t…
In this episode, Adam talks to Aaron Gustafson about authoring semantic HTML in the context of web applications, where choosing the right element can be a lot more complicated than it seems.
When you order stuff online, it may cost less to have it shipped across the world than across the street.
Take the Mighty Mug. It’s a travel mug that’s almost impossible to knock over, invented by a guy in New Jersey named Jayme Smaldone. A few months ago, Jayme realized he could order a knockoff Mighty Mug from China and get it shipped for less than it would cost him to ship his mug to a neighbor.
The reason for this price gap, Jayme claims, is a secretive group of postal policymakers that meets every four years to fix international shipping rates. A kind of postal illuminati.
Today’s episode: A conspiracy theory that’s actually real. How the decisions made behind closed doors make it cheap to buy things from across the world, but are also distorting the global economy.
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