Tech

This App Generates Hidden-Message Orbs Your Friends Must Physically Locate

Designed by brain scientists, "Traces" seeks to make messaging more meaningful.

Inside the Huge Solar Farm That Powers Apple's iCloud

Apple has a wide-ranging plan to keep its ever-expanding empire green—but it has a few holes.

What Do We Do With Old Public Payphones?

Resurrecting cities' phone-booth systems with Wi-Fi hotspots, tiny art galleries, and more.

The View From Your Window Is Worth Cash to This Company

New York-based Placemeter is turning disused smartphones into big data.

What We Can and Can't Learn From 2,000 Years of Migration Data for 'Western Intellectuals'

Researchers recently compiled birth and death data for famous North Americans and Europeans.

Mexico City's 'Innovation Lab' Tries Tech Solutions for Urban Issues

Government-sponsored "smart city" initiatives aim to make life safer and easier in the Mexican capital. But will they reach everyone?

I Drank a Cup of Hot Coffee That Was Overnighted Across the Country

A single PR stunt reveals the complicated, pervasive intersection of logistics and culture.

Should Colleges Be Broadband Hubs for Their Communities?

The University of Texas is implementing a tiered-price web-acccess structure, while four North Carolina universities are joining their cities in building a more accessible regional network.

We're Moving Beyond Energy Efficiency Into 'Demand Destruction'

Hybrid cars, solar panels, and LED lightbulbs aren't just reducing our energy consumption—they're totally upending it.

Maps

Graphing New Yorkers' Lives Through the Open Data Portal

The I Quant NY blog mines NYC's massive data clearinghouse to visualize issues facing city dwellers, from education to eating.

Could Silicon Valley Become the Next Camden, New Jersey?

From phonographs to smartphones, no technology—or industry—is immune to change.

What Congress Should Be Talking About When It Talks About a National Transportation Plan

There's a worthy federal infrastructure program staring America right in the face: broadband.

If an Electric Bike Is Ever Going to Hit It Big in the U.S., It's This One

Is the Copenhagen Wheel poised to become the next big thing in alternative urban transportation?

Here's How American Scientists Plan to Prevent the Next Nuclear Disaster

Updated design, safety protocols, and job training will help U.S. plants prepare. But improvements are "ongoing" and hard to quantify. 

What Happens When Every City Has a Giant Ferris Wheel?

Observation wheels are reaching the point of ubiquity in tourist capitals. Is this trend ever going to slow down? 

Andy Warhol's Film 'Empire' Turns 50

Celebrating one of the world's most famous skyscrapers on the day an equally famous artist filmed it. For a long, long time.

Could Extraterrestrial Pollution Be a Sign of Life in Space?

A novel approach to the search for intelligent (or not so intelligent) beings. 

Where Restaurant Reservations Come From

A journey into the mysterious origins of the pre-arranged table.