Monthly Archives: August 2016

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Forget Self-Driving Cars. Let’s Make Self-Driving Living Rooms Ashish Thulkar The imminent arrival of the self-driving car will change how people move around city streets, but they could do so much more.The Tridika is a conceptual driverless electric vehicle I created to change how we use cars in our ever-growing cities, where space is expensive and limited. Inspired by Thyssenkrupp’s Willy Wonka-esque Multi elevator, the Tridika works like a self-driving car you can literally park next to your apartment and use as an additional room. Instead of wheels, it works like a maglev train: magnets lift and propel the vehicle. It pulls its electricity from the tracks, and takes you wherever you command. The boxy shape optimizes interior space: You could configure it to travel with up to six passengers or create a fair-sized office space to work while you commute. New apartment towers and condos could be designed and […]

The Alt-Right’s Dark Army of Racist Trolls Just Had a Great Day It’s been a heckuva day for the trolls.In just one day, the so-called “alt right”—a political faction that spreads white supremacist ideology primarily online—has come to dominate the national news cycle. Today, they’ve had a hashtag, #AltRightMeans, trending on Twitter; they’ve gotten high praise from Donald Trump, who swore up and down this community isn’t racist; and then came the cherry on top: an impassioned speech by Hillary Clinton in which she called out their members, who have banded together behind Trump, by name.What more could a dark army of trolls want? It didn’t take long until they started celebrating on the same online portals they’ve used as recruiting tools since the term “alt right” first popped up around 2008. AntiRacist Hitler @AntiRHitler I’d like to thank you @HillaryClinton, for all the promotion you are doing for us..A […]

Mozilla Wants You to Help Redesign Its Logo. Seriously This fall, Mozilla will get a new logo. In fact, it’ll get an entirely new visual identity. The open-source software company doesn’t know what it’ll look like, but it will likely resemble one of seven identities created by London firm Johnson Banks. You can view all the preliminary work online, and even critique it. Actually, you should—Mozilla wants you to. “Rather than conduct a brand refresh behind closed doors, we just thought maybe there’s a better or different way to do this,” says Tim Murray, Mozilla’s creative director and the lead on this project. That “way” means publishing each iteration of the design process to Mozilla’s blog and asking people to weigh in. Murray doesn’t have a concrete sense of how that input will shape the final look (there’s no voting or open submission portal for new ideas), but he says commenters will, in […]

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Why It’s So Hard to Tell If a Country Is Really Rid of Polio Mothers and their babies wait at a health center that provides polio vaccines in Abeokuta, Nigeria, on June 11, 2014.Hannibal Hanschke/DPA/Zuma Last week, the WHO confirmed that polio had sprung up in Nigeria and paralyzed two children—a setback in the decades-long fight to eradicate the disease. The country (and, by extension, Africa) was just a year away from being declared polio-free. Now the clock resets, and Africa’s next chance of being declared polio-free is in 2019, three years from now. But ugh, you’re thinking, three years is such a long time. But three years is how long the WHO waits before declaring a region polio-free—partly because of the way the disease works, partly because anniversaries are easy to keep track of, and partly because it’s just a really good guess, backed up by models and experience. […]

There’s too much Olympics online, which is why programming is still a good idea What is the 10 meter air rifle?     I like the Olympics. I like watching the Olympics. It’s not just the competition. It’s the finality of winning a gold medal that’s somehow elementally satisfying, even if the sport itself may be marginal, or unusual, or even a little ridiculous. For example, you might not have known or cared there was something called the 10 meter air rifle competition (why exactly 10 meters?), but the fact that someone (this time, an American) won a gold medal in the thing might offer a touch of catharsis. But by Day 1 of the Rio Olympics (broadcast by NBC in the U.S.) it’s clear there’s just way too much content. Virginia Thrasher won gold in the 10m Air Rifle The issue isn’t the ready availability of ways to watch […]