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.
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Navy Gives Up ALL-CAPS Messaging, 160 Years After It Began

June 12, 2013 Last month, the Navy personnel chief sent out a note on behalf of Fleet CyberCommand with an important message: ALL-CAPS COMMUNIQUES WERE NO LONGER NECESSARY. Since the middle of the 19th century, Naval messages have been typed in just the upper-case, Navy Times reported, but that era finally, mercifully, came ...

So Far, There Are Only 3 Big Winners in the Smartphone Market

May 28, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Benedict Evans has a great post describing the market for smartphones (and phones more broadly) in three charts and about 600 words. Admirable economy! Let me try to compress the argument even further. If one looks at profits, only two companies make a substantial amount of money: Apple and Samsung. ...

The Future of Brick-and-Mortar Retailers? Turning Into Data Centers

May 24, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Sears! Once the catalog king, then an eminent brick-and-mortar retailer, and now, perhaps, a real-estate holding company that leases out space for computers that power the cloud. Data Center Knowledge reported today that Sears had created a new unit -- Ubiquity Critical Environments -- to look into repurposing its shuttered ...

NASA's 19-Gigapixel Filmstrip of the Earth from Russia to South Africa

May 21, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow NASA's Landsat satellites have been snapping pictures of the Earth from orbit since 1972. The most recent iteration of the project, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission, arrived at its orbital resting place on April 12, and shot thisseries of 56 images shortly thereafter. NASA stitched the pictures together into one ...

National Weather Service Warned About School Safety in Oklahoma City Region

May 21, 2013 Monday, the National Weather Service's Rick Smith posted a briefing to YouTube at 11:30am, which laid out a scenario for the day's weather events that was eerily precise. Specifically, he mentioned schools as an area of concern and highlighted the potential for an EF-4 tornado in the area south of ...

Is This Virtual Worm the First Sign of the Singularity?

May 17, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow For all the talk of artificial intelligence and all the games of SimCity that have been played, no one in the world can actually simulate living things. Biology is so complex that nowhere on Earth is there a comprehensive model of even a single simple bacterial cell. And yet, these ...

What the Obama Campaign's Chief Data Scientist Is Up to Now

May 9, 2013 By all accounts, Rayid Ghani's data work for President Obama's reelection campaign was brilliant and unprecedented. Ghani probably could have written a ticket to work at any company in the world, or simply collected speaking fees for a few years telling companies how to harness the power of data like ...

Operation Acoustic Kitty: The CIA's Would-Be Cat Spy

May 9, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow You see, cats are sly and unpredictable. They can slip unnoticed from place to place, watching, listening, wryly judging, surveilling. So, why wouldn't the Central Intelligence Agency stick a microphone in a cat's ear and embed a radio transmitter in her body? Oh, but they would! In an excerpt from ...

The Hordes of Microbes Inside Your Body Are Your Friends

April 26, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow As tools for engineering life’s building blocks have proliferated in recent years, our definition of human life has become more expansive. For example,we are learning that the vast ecosystems of microbes inside our bodies are as integral to our health as our own tissues, affecting everything from our immune systems ...

NASA Announces the Discovery of the Most Interesting Planetary System Outside Our Own

April 18, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Kepler Space Telescope has been in orbit looking for planets around other stars since 2009, and it's started to find some startlingly interesting solar systems out there. Today, the Kepler team announced the discovery of star system Kepler 62, a group of five planets circling a red star, two ...