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Christopher Mims

Results 11-20 of 108

Why the Only Thing Better Than Big Data Is Bigger Data

February 3, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow For many businesses, big data is superfluous. Except, a recently-published paper on the mathematics of big data reveals, when it isn’t. It turns out there is a kind of data that, like black holes or evil wizards of Middle Earth, only becomes more powerful the larger it grows. What’s more, ...

Why Volcanoes Are the Energy Source of the Future

January 31, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In Iceland, scientists have just completed a successful experiment in harnessing energy directly from a volcano. But first, a little background: In early 2009, I wrote about an audacious project. Scientists in Iceland were going to attempt to drill into a reservoir of water so much hotter than anything tapped ...

Why Google Just Sold Motorola to Lenovo for $3 Billion

January 30, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Well this is unexpected. Google is selling Motorola, the iconic handset maker it bought for $12.5 billion in May of 2012, to Chinese PC maker Lenovo for $2.91 billion. Google CEO Larry Page has penned a short note about the sale, but he doesn’t get into details. Here’s why the ...

Everything I Need to Know About Management I Learned From Playing Dungeons and Dragons

January 29, 2014 January 25 marked the 40th anniversary of the world’s most iconic role-playing games, Dungeons and Dragons. Even if you’ve never known the pleasure of wiling away an afternoon bashing Orcs with your 4d6 warhammer, odds are you or someone you know has internalized the mechanics of Dungeons and Dragons, either ...

How to Get the Hottest Job in Tech With Two Months’ Study and $2,000

January 22, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Data science—the “science” of gathering and parsing the enormous flood of data pouring into America’s more technologically-adept firms—is so hot that even US president Barack Obama has declared it an educational priority. The Harvard Business Review called data science “the sexiest job of the 21st century” (paywall). Startups are producing ...

Someone’s Refrigerator Just Took Part in a Malicious Cyberattack

January 16, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Between December 23 and January 6, more than 100,000 Internet-connected smart “things,” including media players, smart televisions and at least one refrigerator, were part of a network of computers used to send 750,000 spam emails. So says a study just released by enterprise security company Proofpoint. This is the first ...

How You’ll Write Emails on the Tiny Screen of a Smartwatch

January 13, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Imagine trying to compose an email on a keyboard just a tad bigger than a postage stamp. Nuance, whose technology powers speech-recognition systems like Apple’s Siri, thinks it has this problem licked—and it doesn’t involve voice recognition. The key to typing emails on a tiny screen, says Peter Mahoney, chief ...

The Existential Threat to Bitcoin Its Boosters Said Was Impossible Is Now at Hand

January 9, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A doomsday scenario that has long been dismissed by bitcoin’s biggest boosters is now a clear and present danger. At 3am ET Thursday morning, a single bitcoin mining collective known as Ghash.io reached 45% of the computing power of all global bitcoin miners, just six points short of the 51% ...

This Is the Year of the Electric Car

January 7, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow At the beginning of 2013, the stock price for US electric carmaker Tesla was $32. Now it’s sitting at around $150, after the company’s Model S sedan was named American automotive magazine Car and Driver’s car of the year. And really, that’s just the beginning; Tesla will be shipping 40,000 ...

It's the Beginning of the End for Dumb Phones

January 6, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow For the first time ever, in 2013 smartphones outsold feature phones, and the dean of Silicon Valley tech investing, Marc Andreessen, says that within three years you simply won’t be able to buy a non-smartphone. But what proportion of phones in use right now are smartphones? Less than half, is ...