AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Alexis Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a staff writer for The Atlantic.
Results 31-40 of 153

Why No One Answers Their Phone Anymore

May 31, 2018 The telephone swept into Americans’ lives in the first decades of the 20th century. At first, no one knew exactly how to telephone. Alexander Graham Bell wanted people to start conversations by saying, “Ahoy-hoy!” AT&T tried to prevent people from saying “hello,” arguing in Telephone Engineer magazine that it was...

Uber’s Self-Driving Car Didn’t Malfunction, It Was Just Bad

May 29, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow On March 18, at 9:58 p.m., a self-driving Uber car killed Elaine Herzberg. The vehicle was driving itself down an uncomplicated road in suburban Tempe, Arizona, when it hit her. Herzberg, who was walking across the mostly empty street, was the first pedestrian killed by an autonomous vehicle. The preliminary...

The Most Important Exchange of the Zuckerberg Hearing

April 12, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In his second day of congressional hearings, Mark Zuckerberg began the proceedings in the House of Representatives on Wednesday with an identical opening statement to the one he gave in the Senate on Tuesday. But from that point forward, the proceedings went in a very different direction. The House members...

The Most Important Self-Driving Car Announcement Yet

March 29, 2018 On Tuesday, Waymo announced they’d purchase 20,000 sporty, electric self-driving vehicles from Jaguar for the company’s forthcoming ride-hailing service. Waymo, Google’s sister company within Alphabet, held a press conference in New York for the unveiling of the vehicle, and most of the stories revolved around the luxury SUV’s look and...

The Most Important Self-Driving Car Announcement Yet

March 29, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow On Tuesday, Waymo announced they’d purchase 20,000 sporty, electric self-driving vehicles from Jaguar for the company’s forthcoming ride-hailing service. Waymo, Google’s sister company within Alphabet, held a press conference in New York for the unveiling of the vehicle, and most of the stories revolved around the luxury SUV’s look and...

The Perfect Selfishness of Mapping Apps

March 15, 2018 What is the price of anarchy? Technically, in transportation engineering, the price of anarchy describes the difference between what happens when every driver selfishly picks the fastest route and what the socially optimal traffic outcome would be. In the pre-mobile-app days, drivers’ selfishness was limited by their knowledge of the...

Bitcoin Mining Turns Electricity Into Money

March 14, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Since bitcoin emerged from the internet’s muddy bottom into a global asset class, there have been many attempts to understand what this computation-based currency might mean for the world. No claim about bitcoin, or “the blockchain,” as the general category of technology is known, is too big for advocates (“the...

Drone Swarms Are Going to Be Terrifying and Hard to Stop

March 8, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow As regular people purchase more drones, the small, unmanned aerial systems keep dropping in price and growing in capability. Once expensive, underpowered, remotely piloted toys with blink-of-an-eye battery life, consumer drones can now operate far more independently and for longer periods of time. They are nothing like the heavily armed...

Russia's Troll Operation Was Not That Sophisticated

February 20, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It might be nice for Democrats and #NeverTrumpers to believe that Russia’s troll factory brought Donald Trump the 2016 Presidential Election. But no. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russians associated with the Internet Research Agency definitively shows, given current evidence, that while a small team in St. Petersburg...

The Case of the Sick Americans in Cuba Gets Stranger

February 15, 2018 Toward the end of 2016, years into a slow rapprochement between the United States and Cuba, something strange started happening to CIA agents posing as diplomats in Havana. This something may or may not have been a sonic attack. It may or may not have been deployed by Cubans, Russians,...