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, 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.
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This Massive Robot Could Soon Join Marines on the Battlefield

November 21, 2013 The future doesn't always arrive with a gasp and a boom like Skynet inTerminator. No, sometimes it's more like Office Space. At least that's the idea I get watching this video of the Marines' testing the Legged Squad Support System. DARPA built the LS3 to act as an autonomous pack...

Is Google's Secretive Research Lab Working on Human-Dolphin Communication?

November 21, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It started innocently enough, as rumors do: A friend of a friend and I were chatting about Google and he said that his buddy said that Google's secretive research lab, Google X, was working on communicating with dolphins. Whoa! Interspecies communication is one of my all-time favorite topics. Some true...

How Many Astronauts Believe Aliens Exist?

November 11, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Astronaut Chris Hadfield is a reasonable man, a former commander of the International Space Station, and a social media superstar. He recently went on WNYC's Brian Lehrer show to discuss his life and career when a caller asked him about the existence of "alien life." "I don't know of any...

How to Launder Billions of Digital Dollars

November 4, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Money laundering, that staple of films, both comic and thriller, has changed since the days when gangsters ran local fronts that only dealt in cash. A recent Justice Department indictment of the founders of Liberty Reserve, a digital currency company, allows us a rare peek into the mechanics of cleaning...

Test Your Techie Trivia Skills: Where Are Those 90s Terms Now?

August 29, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Poking fun at new words added to various dictionaries is a time-honored journalistic tradition, nearly as well-loved as writing about nomenclature after the Social Security Administration's annual release of the country's most popular names. And for good reason: Everyone uses words and everyone has a name. It doesn't get more...

Among the NSA's Own Tips for Securing Computers: Remove the Webcam

August 20, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Seems like everything gets hacked these days. Baby monitors. White House employees' personal email. Toilets. If it's connected to the Internet, it seems at least a little vulnerable. But surely we can trust that workhorse selfie-generator, the iSight webcam built into the top bezel of Mac laptops. Or... Maybe not....

NASA's Massive Free E-Book Collection

August 9, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Behold, the hundreds of free e-books about space history contained on this webpage. From old favorites like The Difficult Road to Mars: A Brief History of Mars Exploration in the Soviet Union and Wind Tunnels of NASA to experimental work like Aerospace Food Technology and Life in the Universe: Proceedings...

13 Little Things NASA Did to Get Alan Shepard Ready for Space

August 9, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow I was digging around the NASA archives when I stumbled upon the flight surgeon's report for the Mercury-Redstone 3 mission, otherwise known as the second flight by a human into space, and the first by an American. Alan Shepard was the man chosen by the United States to leave Earth....

This Tiny Blue Dot on Mars Is Our Rover

July 25, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow There's something special about our robots orbiting other planets seeing our other robots down on the surface. In a new, color-enhanced photo, the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment Camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spotted the Mars Curiosity Rover down on the surface. It's the blue dot in the bottom...

How the Atomic Bomb Helped Create the Internet

July 8, 2013 Let's start at the end point: what you're doing right now. You are pulling information from a network onto a screen, enhancing your embodied experience with a communication web filled with people and machines. You do this by pointing and clicking, tapping a few commands, organizing your thoughts into symbols...

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