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Blog Profile / Babbage


URL :http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage
Filed Under:Technology
Posts on Regator:1372
Posts / Week:7.6
Archived Since:April 18, 2011

Blog Post Archive

The paperless dilemma

yesterdayTechnology : Babbage

EVER since the “paperless office” was first mooted in a Business Week article back in 1975, its estimated time of arrival has always been ten years away. And so it remains. The amount of paper used in homes and offices has declined slightly over the past decade. Show More Summary

How to judge a ’bot; why it’s covered

5 days agoTechnology : Babbage

WHEN the autonomous cars in Isaac Asimov's 1953 short story “Sally” encourage a robotic bus to dole out some rough justice to an unscrupulous businessman, the reader is to believe that the bus has contravened Asimov's first law of robotics,...Show More Summary

Lean, mean Arean machine

6 days agoTechnology : Babbage

FOR a brief period in the small hours of the morning of September 24th, a control room full of Indian engineers held their breath as Mangalayaan (Hindi for "Mars vehicle") hid behind the planet's dark side. They waited for automaticShow More Summary

Robots need laws too

6 days agoTechnology : Babbage

THIS week our correspondents discuss Indian and American space probes at Mars and jurisprudence for robots

Tesla’s high-stakes gamble

last weekTechnology : Babbage

BETTING against Elon Musk is surely a fool’s game. As co-founder or inspiration of a string of technical successes—PayPal, SpaceX, SolarCity and Tesla Motors—the Silicon Valley billionaire has, time and again, proved naysayers in established...Show More Summary

Making Al green

last weekTechnology : Babbage

CATHODE-RAY tubes relied on phosphors made of inorganic chemicals to generate their pictures. They, however, are history. Many of the flat screens that replaced them—whether liquid-crystal displays or more modern organic light-emitting diode displays—rely on organic chemicals instead. Show More Summary

Where the wind comes from

last weekTechnology : Babbage

THE monsoon winds that feed much of Asia’s agriculture are, literally, life-giving. If they fail, famine follows. In recent years, however, they have been weakening, and this has led some to fear that one consequence of global climate change would be a less potent monsoon. Show More Summary

Harpooning a space duck

2 weeks agoTechnology : Babbage

THIS week our correspondents discuss Google’s Android One smartphones, aimed at the “next billion”, and the plans for a robotic lander to touch down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

September 16th 2014

2 weeks agoTechnology : Babbage

THIS week our correspondents discuss Google’s Android One smartphones aimed at the “next billion” and the plans for a robotic lander to touch down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

A sharper image for TV

2 weeks agoTechnology : Babbage

WITH high-definition (HD) televisions now in four out of five American homes, they have become, from a manufacturer's point of view, low-profit-margin commodity items. Hence the recent marketing blitz intended to persaude people to replace their existing sets with so-called 4K models, which quadruple the number of pixels on the screen. Show More Summary

Lost in fire, found in water

2 weeks agoTechnology : Babbage

ONE could easily imagine that the sheer tyrant-lizard kingliness of Tyrannosaurus rex was what made it a staple in popular culture as the largest carnivorous dinosaur. The more likely reason, though, is that some of T. rex's most plausible competition was wiped out by the British Royal Air Force. Show More Summary

Faux go-slow

2 weeks agoTechnology : Babbage

DEAR reader, what kept you? Perhaps you were visiting film-streaming service Netflix, discussion forum Reddit, blogging site WordPress or any of dozens of other popular websites where users are halted at an endlessly spinning "loading" icon. Show More Summary

Apple's future will reflect its past

2 weeks agoTechnology : Babbage

THIS week our correspondents discuss the past and future of Apple and a weighty problem in physics

Gaming the college system

3 weeks agoTechnology : Babbage

LIKE other parents with teenagers starting their final year in high school, Babbage is learning how fraught the whole process is these days of applying for a place at one or other university his daughter hopes to attend upon matriculation. Show More Summary

The sense of the father

3 weeks agoTechnology : Babbage

ANTHROPOLOGISTS have found that polyandry—the union of one woman and more than one man—is a rarity in humans. Across thousands of studied societies, just a few dozen polyandrous cultures exist, widely scattered around the world. For the most part, the guess is that cultural factors are at work. Show More Summary

Social net, working

3 weeks agoTechnology : Babbage

IN THEORY, the advent of and explosive growth in social media should be a boon to the social sciences of psychology, anthropology and sociology. Every day, billions of social exchanges occur in the digital wild, each tagged with and linked to the kind of data that many social scientists would give their eye teeth for. Show More Summary

Surveillance state of confusion

3 weeks agoTechnology : Babbage

TECHNOLOGICAL progress presents the world with neologisms that in short order become everyday vocabulary. So it is with "metadata"—that is, data about data. It is a kind of catch-all term that might indicate the time of receipt of an email or phone call, or the location where a picture was taken (not the email, the phone call or the picture itself). Show More Summary

Putting death on ice

3 weeks agoTechnology : Babbage

THIS week our correspondents discuss Google’s drones programme and a step towards suspended animation

That others may live

last monthTechnology : Babbage

IT IS a solemn custom in science to mark the names of collaborators who pass away during the course of an article's publication with a superscript no different than that indicating their academic affiliation. Very rare indeed is the case that five names on a single report should share that mark. Show More Summary

Thou shalt not kill, in theory

last monthTechnology : Babbage

THE street protests in Ferguson, Missouri have been met with a range of so-called non-lethal weaponry, including sonic blasters, rubber balls, stun grenades and tear gas. There has been much debate about whether the authorities' response was disproportionate. Show More Summary

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