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Blog Profile / Babbage


URL :http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage
Filed Under:Technology
Posts on Regator:1375
Posts / Week:7.1
Archived Since:April 18, 2011

Blog Post Archive

And it’s goodnight from us

3 months agoTechnology : Babbage

AS PART of an effort to streamline Economist.com and arrange things more logically, we’re closing down the Babbage blog. We’ll continue to post extra science and technology stories online, in addition to those that appear in the print edition, but these will now appear on the Science and technology page, rather than as posts on the Babbage blog. Show More Summary

Why 10, not 9, is better than 8

3 months agoTechnology : Babbage

IN THE end, Microsoft fooled everyone. The replacement for its widely disparaged Windows 8 operating system turned out to be not Windows 9, as expected, but Windows 10. No explanation, other than marketing waffle, was given as to why the company should skip a release number. Show More Summary

Future, imperfect and tense

3 months agoTechnology : Babbage

IF YOU want something done, the saying goes, give it to a busy person. It is an odd guarantor of hitting deadlines. But a paper recently published in the Journal of Consumer Research suggests it may, in fact, be true—as long as the busy person conceptualises the deadline in the right way. Show More Summary

The paperless dilemma

3 months agoTechnology : 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

3 months 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

3 months 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

3 months agoTechnology : Babbage

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

Tesla’s high-stakes gamble

3 months agoTechnology : 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

3 months agoTechnology : 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

3 months agoTechnology : 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

3 months 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

3 months 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

3 months 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

4 months 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

4 months 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

4 months agoTechnology : Babbage

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

Gaming the college system

4 months 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

4 months 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

4 months 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

4 months 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

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