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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.

Results 1-10 of 83

Why Conservatives Might Be Left Out of the Next Wave of Tech

June 17, 2014 It's one of those stats that just smacks you across the face: In a recent Pew poll, only four percent—4%!—of consistent conservatives want to live in America's cities. Meanwhile, about a quarter of people with mixed political views want to live in cities more than they want to live in ...

How DARPA's Augmented Reality Software Works

May 30, 2014 Six years ago, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) decided that they had a new dream. The agency wanted a system that would overlay digital tactical information right over the top of the physical world. So, they created a program called Urban Leader Tactical Response, Awareness and Visualization (ULTRA-Vis) ...

Why DARPA’s Augmented Reality Software Is Better Than Google Glass

May 28, 2014 Six years ago, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) decided that they had a new dream. The agency wanted a system that would overlay digital tactical information right over the top of the physical world. So, they created a program called Urban Leader Tactical Response, Awareness and Visualization (ULTRA-Vis) ...

The Trick That Makes Google's Self-Driving Cars Work

May 16, 2014 Google's self-driving cars can tour you around the streets of Mountain View, California. I know this. I rode in one this week. I saw the car's human operator take his hands from the wheel and the computer assume control. "Autodriving," said a woman's voice, and just like that, the car ...

Computers See Your Face as a Child. Will They Recognize You as an Adult?

May 13, 2014 This story began with a simple question: if a facial recognition system processes a lot of pictures of a child, will it recognize that person when he or she grows up? If I were to upload all my childhood photos to Facebook (or some future Facebook), could a biometric identification ...

The Hacker Who Worked on a Navy Nuclear Aircraft Carrier

May 9, 2014 Nicholas Knight and his hacker crew, Digi7al, were a lot like other hacking crews. According to a Federal indictment filed this week, they broke into computers, took information, posted it, and boasted about their exploits. But there is a key difference: Nicholas Knight was employed by the Navy on the ...

CAPTCHAs Are Becoming Security Theater

April 17, 2014 CAPTCHAs are a time-worn way for humans to tell computers that we are human. They are those little boxes filled with distorted text that we've been told humans can decipher, but computers—the bad guys' computers—cannot. So, Watson-be-damned, we enter the letters and gain access to whatever is behind the veil, ...

In Defense of Google Flu Trends

March 27, 2014 In 2008, Google released an experiment called Flu Trends, which attempted to predict the prevalence of the flu from searches that users made for about 40 flu-related queries. Based on the data up to that point in time, Flu Trends worked really well. The Centers for Disease Control, which had ...

The 3D Future of Your Smartphone Camera

March 14, 2014 A matte black robotic camera the size of a 1980s lunchbox sits atop a tripod. On its face, there are three 2D cameras and three 3D sensors. There's a handle on one end sprouting from the left side of the device. Its handler hits a button on an iPad app, ...

Man vs. Sea: The Quest for the Perfect Armor Is Nearly Complete

March 6, 2014 A search for a photo of a miniature submarine took me to a government website, and as I browsed the tiny thumbnails, I saw something better than a tiny sub in the water. I found a picture of a man standing on the bottom of the ocean. And I've been ...