Author Brian Dear talks about the amazing PLATO computing system

 Before Xerox Parc there was PLATO. This amazing computing system came to life in 1960 and by the 1970s was running a number of graphical terminals well before the rise of Xerox PARC and the Alto. This wild little system used some unique hardware and software to create true early educational computing projects and author Brian Dear has written an amazing book on the project. Called Friendly… Read More

Need a post on Harvard.edu about your ICO? $500, please

 In the endless hunt to gain credibility for token products, founders are resorting to some shady – and ridiculous – tactics. After researching the weird world of pay-for-play recently and taking part in this expose on the space, I stumbled on another corner of the Internet that is a bit disturbing. It seems the habit of trying to bribe writers for big sites and providing access… Read More

MIT teaches drones to fly with uncertainty

 MIT researchers are working on a new steering system for drones that uses uncertainty to ensure that they don’t hit obstacles as they fly autonomously. The system is a bit complex but it’s called NanoMap and it quite simply finds ways to get from point A to point B without crashing and while handling random objects in its path. Spectrum describes the system in detail but basically… Read More

Where do we go now?

 The crypto crash is reverberating through the Internet while the “rest” of the economy – namely the stock market – enters free fall. Commentary on the very human and thus flawed stock market is still well within the realm of pundits and guys who press funny buttons on TV, whither crypto? First, the die hards are chiming in noting that they are retaining their… Read More

Author Nick Montfort tells us how to define the future

 Nick Montfort is a professor in MIT’s Comparative Media Studies/Writing and the author of a new book, “The Future.” His book explores “future makers” – people who create the future with their work. It’s a fascinating read and he’s a fascinating thinker in the space. Our conversation on Technotopia started with the Norman Bel Geddes, designer of… Read More

The MB&F MoonMachine 2 reconnects you with the celestial

 If and when your crypto investments go back up feel free to spend about $100,000 on one of these new creations from the watchmakers at MB&F and noted horologist Stepan Sarpaneva. The watch, called the MoonMachine 2, has a “heads-up” time display on the back end of the case where you see the hours and minutes in bold numerals along with a Sarpaneva-style moonphase display that… Read More

The MB&F MoonMachine 2 reconnects you with the celestial

 If and when your crypto investments go back up feel free to spend about $100,000 on one of these new creations from the watchmakers at MB&F and noted horologist Stepan Sarpaneva. The watch, called the MoonMachine 2, has a “heads-up” time display on the back end of the case where you see the hours and minutes in bold numerals along with a Sarpaneva-style moonphase display that… Read More

MIT uses Lego to prototype low-cost micro pumps

 Lego bricks (or, if you’re not a pedant, Legos) are highly precise and highly consistent plastic objects. Anywhere you go in the world the Lego is the same. That means that scientists at MIT can use these little sole stabbers to create very precise scientific systems. Their first tests involves creating a microfluid pump and sorter using basic Lego parts. Because they can trust Lego… Read More

LittleBits’ Droid Inventor kit is the first STEM toy that works

 I’ve been watching STEAM and/or STEAM toys with great interest and great skepticism. While many parents and teachers report great success with programming toys like Cleverbot and whatever this thing is, I’ve found that kids (and parents) I know find many STEM toys to be sterile, boring, and just no fun. The same held true for the notoriously fiddly LittleBits kits. These kits… Read More

Ex-hacker Eric Taylor is working to help manage data centers

 Ex-hacker Eric Taylor, also known as CosmoTheGod, and another infosec name, Bryant Townsend have colorful pasts. Most recently Taylor stole the social security and personal records of a number of high-ranking Obama administration officials, posting it on a site called exposed.su. Townsend, for his part, was caught up in a denial of service hack that led back to his former DDoS mitigation company. Read More