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Alexis Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a staff writer for The Atlantic.
Results 61-70 of 115

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...

3D Printing: Not Every Hobby Turns Into the PC Industry

June 24, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This week, 3D printing company Stratasys purchased another 3D printing company, MakerBot, for at least $403 million worth of Stratasys shares. The move makes the newly combined company the undisputed leader in all things 3D printed, and provides a moment to reflect on how far the technology has come. On...

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...