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The dreams of readers

Spermatic. There’s a word you don’t come across much anymore. Not only does it sound fusty and arcane, as if it had been extracted from the nether regions of a moldy physiology handbook, but it seems fatally tainted with political … Continue reading

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It’s going to happen

The crew at the Rough Type Curation Lab nearly blew their deadline this year, but at the last moment they’ve coughed up a mixtape for the final evening of 2013. (Spotify required.) It opens with a full-body assault from Supergrass. … Continue reading

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Voice from above

Another bulletin from the near future: “I don’t have a microchip in my head – yet,” says the man charged with transforming Google’s relations with the technology giant’s human users. But Scott Huffman does envisage a world in which Google microphones, … Continue reading

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Underwearables

If there’s one product category ripe for disruptive innovation, it’s lingerie. So it comes as no real surprise that Microsoft researchers have developed a smart bra. The self-quantifying garment is designed, write the researchers, to “perform emotion detection in a … Continue reading

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Big Data: essential even when useless

Rebecca Greenfield reports on the arrival of “extreme baby monitoring.” For a few hundred bucks, new parents will soon be able to outfit their putative bundles of joy with a variety of sensors—ankle monitors, “smart diapers,” even a networked onesie … Continue reading

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The FAA’s automation report

[UPDATE 11/21: The FAA's new report on flight automation and safety has been released and can be read here.] At an aviation conference held in Milan in November of 2010, Kathy Abbott, a top human-factors researcher with the Federal Aviation … Continue reading

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The mind in the landscape

Babbage reports on an intriguing new study that links the landscape we’re in (or looking at) to the time scale of our thoughts: Sitting in his remote cottage, baby son slumbering by his side, Samuel Taylor Coleridge pondered the little … Continue reading

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