Christopher Mims

Results 71-80 of 108

Why Patent Trolls Will Laugh in the Face of the Government’s Attempts to Fight Them

June 5, 2013 The White House Tuesday introduced an executive order intended to combat “patent trolling,” in which companies buy up patents and use them to sue “infringing” companies that actually make things. Patent trolling is essentially a tax on innovation, and tech giants like Google hate it so much that they partner...

Google’s New “Moto X” Superphone Will Spy on You 24/7, and You’ll Like It

May 31, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Dennis Woodside, CEO of Motorola, Google’s wholly owned phone-making subsidiary, walked onto a stage yesterday with the company’s rumored new superphone, and while he refused to take it out of his pocket, he confirmed that it’s real and that it’s launching in October of this year. He also dropped a...

Are New Ultra-Cheap 3D Printers Revolutionary or Just Toys?

May 30, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Meet the Replicator 2. She’s top of the line, for home 3D printers, and she’ll cost you $2,200, not including shipping: That’s about what a good PC cost in the 1980′s. And the parallels between the personal computing revolution and the one in 3D printing are irresistible (they’ve been made...

250 Million Tablets Will Be Sold in 2013

May 21, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Tablet computers are growing so fast that it looks like 2014 or 2015 will be the year sales of tablets eclipse sales of PCs. Here are NPD Displaysearch’s projections for sales of tablet and notebook PCs (multiply the left scale by 1,000). Pay attention to the blue bars. Now compare...

The Audacious Plan to End Hunger with 3-D Printed Food

May 21, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Anjan Contractor’s 3D food printer might evoke visions of the “replicator” popularized in Star Trek, from which Captain Picard was constantly interrupting himself to order tea. And indeed Contractor’s company, Systems & Materials Research Corporation, just got a six month, $125,000 grant from NASA to create a prototype of his...

There Are 12.5 Unprotected Versions of the Average American’s Personal Information on the Web

May 15, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Safe Shepherd is a company that searches the web for all the public records available on Americans, and then presents them in a dashboard. Try it for yourself—it’s free—and the results are almost guaranteed to be unnerving. The information is mostly innocuous, and includes your address, phone number and email,...

Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon Are Trying to Turn Into the Same Über-Company

May 10, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Who will be the sole provider of all that you desire? Which company’s services will you “hire” to address your every internet-enabled whim? It sounds absurd, but this is the essence of the battle between the big four tech giants—oh and Microsoft too, but these days Microsoft is mostly an...

Video: Robotic Exoskeleton turns everyday Houseplants Into Cyborgs

May 9, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow As if we needed more evidence that we have more technology than we know what to do with, a collaboration between an artist and an engineer has yielded something both whimsical and potentially useful. It gives houseplants autonomy. Such ideas have been explored in science fiction before—in Vernor Vinge’s novel...

Massive Hacker Strike Against US Government and Banks Turned Out to Be a Dud

May 8, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Yessterday was May 7, the day that Anonymous and various explicitly anti-USA and anti-Israel hacking groups promised to take down the websites of the Pentagon, White House, FBI, Bank of America, Chase bank, and all the other usual symbols of oppression. Except the attacks appeared to be a complete failure....

Most Data Isn’t 'Big,' and Businesses Are Wasting Money Pretending It Is

May 7, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Big data! If you don’t have it, you better get yourself some. Your competition has it, after all. Bottom line: If your data is little, your rivals are going to kick sand in your face and steal your girlfriend. There are many problems with the assumptions behind the “big data”...

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