AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Alexis Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti. He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press). Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.
Results 11-20 of 83

Why Drugs Need Horseshoe Crab Blood for FDA Approval

February 26, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The thing about the blood that everyone notices first: It's blue, baby blue. The marvelous thing about horseshoe crab blood, though, isn't the color. It's a chemical found only in the amoebocytes of its blood cells that can detect mere traces of bacterial presence and trap them in inescapable clots. ...

This GIF Shows What Might Be Water Flowing on Mars

February 10, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow NASA scientists have long chanted a mantra about Mars: follow the water, follow the water. So, we sent a lander to the northern latitudes looking for extant ice. More recently, the Mars Curiosity rover has been exploring planetary features that seem created by long-ago water flows, at least if Martian ...

Snipers Coordinated an Attack on the Power Grid, but Why?

February 5, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Last April, unknown attackers shot up 17 transformers at a California substation in what the then-chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Jon Wellinghoff called "the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred" in this country. Though news reports about the incident at the ...

Introducing (1978!) Cellular Phone Service

February 5, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow AT&T's archives of the Bell Labs research and media provides a neverending stream of fascinating tidbits about the development of modern mobile communications. Recently, archivist Robin Edgerton discovered a 1978 film called "Advanced Mobile Phone Service (AMPS)" that is the earliest she's found that describes cellular telephone operation. The honeycomb-like ...

Earth Resumes Surveillance of Mercury

January 29, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Mars gets all the attention. Mars Mars Mars Mars. Then there's Jupiter with its storms and Saturn with its rings. Even Pluto gets all kinds of attention, and it's not even a planet. But who's paying attention to old Mercury? Actually, that would the Messenger spacecraft, which was the first ...

The Future of the Army: Less Soldiers, More Robots, More 'Lethality'

January 21, 2014 In the future, an Army brigade might have 3,000 human troops instead of 4,000, but a lot more robots, according to recent remarks by General Robert Cone, the Army's head of Training and Doctrine Command. "I’ve got clear guidance to think about what if you could robotically perform some of ...

The Future of the Army: Fewer Soldiers, More Robots, More 'Lethality'

January 21, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In the future, an Army brigade might have 3,000 human troops instead of 4,000, but a lot more robots, according to recent remarks by General Robert Cone, the Army's head of Training and Doctrine Command. "I’ve got clear guidance to think about what if you could robotically perform some of ...

These Two Guys Tried to Rebuild a Cray Supercomputer

January 14, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow There was a time when the word "supercomputer" inspired the same sort of giddy awe that infuses Superman or Superconducting Supercollider. Asupercomputer could leap tall buildings in a single bound and peer into the secrets of the universe. And chief among this race of almost mythical machines was the Cray. ...

Where Do We Go From Here? 8 Hypotheses About Tech in 2014

January 8, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow If there was a feeling that defined the cultural backdrop for 2013, it was technoanxiety. The two big things were the continued rise of doing everything on a screen, and the continued rise of doing things the old way. Mobile everything. And vintage everything. Digging your hands into the earth, ...

Christmas Is the Biggest App Downloading Day of the Year

December 24, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Last year, on December 25, the day that marks the birth of Jesus Christ as well as the arrival of Santa Claus, people downloaded 328 million apps to smartphones and tablets, according to the analytics firm Flurry. It was the biggest app downloading day in the (very short) history of ...