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Steven Levy has been at 4 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Trey Ratcliff8,452,569We go live tonight! +Nicole S. Young  has a new eBook called The Inspired Photographer at http://www.flatbooks.com/featured/the-inspired-photographer -- she'll be joining me along with +Thomas Hawk  +Gino Barasa and maybe more!  Also, as a bonus-topic, we'll open the show with +Steven Levy  from Wired magazine to talk about the Project Loon from Google...   As usual, we'll have live chat and take questions live over in the embedded player at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com  -- see you soon! :)New show! Finding Your Photography Inspiration + Google Loon Balloon recap! Join me with Thomas Hawk and more - 7 PM PT, 10 PM ET2013-06-18 04:00:00270  
Google Developers2,092,114Google I/O is an annual developer conference featuring highly technical, in-depth sessions, and showcasing the latest from Google's product teams and partners.Google I/O 20132013-05-14 23:00:005060  
After Earth360,196Join us Tuesday, April 23rd at 9am PST for a special Google+ Hangout for After Earth! The After Earth Day Google+ Hangout will be moderated by futurist +Ray Kurzweil, Google's director of engineering. Joining Kurzweil will be Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and the co-founder of Tesla Motors and PayPal; the environmental advocate, explorer and filmmaker +Alexandra Cousteau, granddaughter of Jacques-Yves Cousteau; NASA astronaut +Sunita Williams, an Indian American astronaut and a United States Navy officer who holds the record for longest space flight by a woman; and Jaden Smith and Will Smith, the stars of After Earth. On the literal day after Earth Day, they will discuss the future that awaits the human race on Planet Earth, in the context of the overall themes of the action-adventure. After Earth will inspire a conversation focusing on the important questions we face about the present state of the planet, the future, and the environment. The participants will also explore the interaction of technology development, space travel, and ecological preservation.Will and Jaden's After Earth Day Hangout2013-04-23 18:00:001855  
Google Play8,600,379Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, two of film’s biggest comedy stars, are now its most unexpected interns in their new movie, “The Internship.” Join Vince and Owen in a live Google+ hangout hosted by Conan O’Brien on Wednesday, February 13 at 11am PT to get the inside story about their latest comedy and be the first to view the trailer.  For a sneak peek at what’s in store, check out Vince and Owen in the video, and submit your questions for the comedy duo using #TheInternshipHangout with Google Interns Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, as they debut “The Internship” trailer, hosted by Conan O’Brien2013-02-13 20:00:0010922  

Shared Circles including Steven Levy

Shared Circles are not available on Google+ anymore, but you can find them still here.

Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 24

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2015-03-23 17:24:41 (24 comments, 37 reshares, 144 +1s)Open 

I belong to a very small club of reporters who had a close relationship -- sometimes contentious but I believe ultimately one of respect on both sides -- with Steve Jobs.. Brent Schlender was one of those (you could count us on one hand) and maybe knew Jobs the best. Now he has co-written a book on Jobs, and it benefited mightily from the cooperation of Apple and Jobs's widow--because those who knew Steve best were outraged at the Isaacson biography and wanted, in their view, to set the record straight. Here's my take on the new book and the controversy.

https://medium.com/backchannel/the-war-over-who-steve-jobs-was-92bda2cd1e1e

Most reshares: 69

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2014-06-27 17:26:32 (18 comments, 69 reshares, 114 +1s)Open 

I've had lots of great conversations with +Sundar Pichai over the years and this one, talking about I/O and various issues involving Android, Chrome and Google in general, was no exception.   

He also takes a pretty good picture, even without the plush toys.

http://www.wired.com/2014/06/sundar-pichai/

Most plusones: 189

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2014-10-22 17:21:22 (14 comments, 49 reshares, 189 +1s)Open 

Gmail is ten years old and it was time to update it for the mobile world and generally make it more Googley.   So do some rethinking, add a lot of AI, take advantage of phone smarts, tap into the Google Now backend, and you've got Inbox, an app built on top of Gmail that you use instead of Gmail.  My report....

Latest 50 posts

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2015-05-12 05:27:09 (13 comments, 18 reshares, 107 +1s)Open 

Chris Urmson, director of Google's self driving car program, reports that after 1.7 million miles (over a million driven by the car itself), there were 11 accidents, all minor, no injuries.  And not one was Google's fault.  The problem is that human driver are pretty crappy (my reading of what he says between the lines here).  He illustrates the post with amusing graphics that show that Mountain View drivers must have Boston DNA.  HIs big message is that the sooner we drive by wire, the better.  I was happy to let him present this data on Backchannel.

 https://medium.com/backchannel/the-view-from-the-front-seat-of-the-google-self-driving-car-46fc9f3e6088

Chris Urmson, director of Google's self driving car program, reports that after 1.7 million miles (over a million driven by the car itself), there were 11 accidents, all minor, no injuries.  And not one was Google's fault.  The problem is that human driver are pretty crappy (my reading of what he says between the lines here).  He illustrates the post with amusing graphics that show that Mountain View drivers must have Boston DNA.  HIs big message is that the sooner we drive by wire, the better.  I was happy to let him present this data on Backchannel.

 https://medium.com/backchannel/the-view-from-the-front-seat-of-the-google-self-driving-car-46fc9f3e6088___

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2015-05-02 04:21:08 (5 comments, 16 reshares, 69 +1s)Open 

Delighted to publish in Backchannel this piece by historian Leslie Berlin nailing the elements of Silicon Valley that made it the center of our economy -- and looking forward to see what threats may or may not prevent its sustaining dominance. Some fascinating stuff on east coast companies versus west, as well as a cameo by Steve Jobs, who during discussion about the Valley with Leslie, came up with a quote from Schopenhauer!

https://medium.com/backchannel/why-silicon-valley-will-continue-to-rule-c0cbb441e22f

Delighted to publish in Backchannel this piece by historian Leslie Berlin nailing the elements of Silicon Valley that made it the center of our economy -- and looking forward to see what threats may or may not prevent its sustaining dominance. Some fascinating stuff on east coast companies versus west, as well as a cameo by Steve Jobs, who during discussion about the Valley with Leslie, came up with a quote from Schopenhauer!

https://medium.com/backchannel/why-silicon-valley-will-continue-to-rule-c0cbb441e22f___

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2015-04-17 18:45:31 (5 comments, 19 reshares, 98 +1s)Open 

60 years ago, Albert Einstein died.  His brain was removed before cremation, ostensibly for study.  And then it disappeared.  Until I found it, over 20 years later.  Here is that story.


https://medium.com/backchannel/yes-i-found-einstein-s-brain-c3834429e4d5

60 years ago, Albert Einstein died.  His brain was removed before cremation, ostensibly for study.  And then it disappeared.  Until I found it, over 20 years later.  Here is that story.


https://medium.com/backchannel/yes-i-found-einstein-s-brain-c3834429e4d5___

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2015-03-27 13:12:51 (2 comments, 3 reshares, 31 +1s)Open 

Fascinating look inside DoctorX's Barcelona drug testing labs, which vets the chemical purchases made on the blackmarket deep web, no questions asked.  Its purpose is health, but dealers want to use it to brand their wares for purity. 

https://medium.com/backchannel/inside-the-deep-web-drug-lab-9718cd0fe504

Fascinating look inside DoctorX's Barcelona drug testing labs, which vets the chemical purchases made on the blackmarket deep web, no questions asked.  Its purpose is health, but dealers want to use it to brand their wares for purity. 

https://medium.com/backchannel/inside-the-deep-web-drug-lab-9718cd0fe504___

posted image

2015-03-23 17:24:41 (24 comments, 37 reshares, 144 +1s)Open 

I belong to a very small club of reporters who had a close relationship -- sometimes contentious but I believe ultimately one of respect on both sides -- with Steve Jobs.. Brent Schlender was one of those (you could count us on one hand) and maybe knew Jobs the best. Now he has co-written a book on Jobs, and it benefited mightily from the cooperation of Apple and Jobs's widow--because those who knew Steve best were outraged at the Isaacson biography and wanted, in their view, to set the record straight. Here's my take on the new book and the controversy.

https://medium.com/backchannel/the-war-over-who-steve-jobs-was-92bda2cd1e1e

I belong to a very small club of reporters who had a close relationship -- sometimes contentious but I believe ultimately one of respect on both sides -- with Steve Jobs.. Brent Schlender was one of those (you could count us on one hand) and maybe knew Jobs the best. Now he has co-written a book on Jobs, and it benefited mightily from the cooperation of Apple and Jobs's widow--because those who knew Steve best were outraged at the Isaacson biography and wanted, in their view, to set the record straight. Here's my take on the new book and the controversy.

https://medium.com/backchannel/the-war-over-who-steve-jobs-was-92bda2cd1e1e___

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2015-03-02 16:31:49 (6 comments, 10 reshares, 60 +1s)Open 

I met Marissa Mayer in the early 2000s and got to know her as she became a key part of Google.   I thought she was a great choice for Yahoo and ever since she became CEO in 2012 have been waiting to do a big story on what she's up to there.  Today, on Yahoo's 20th anniversary, I got that story.   Marissa says that there has been real progress at Yahoo, particularly on mobile.  But this is only Step One.  And investors are pushing a different direction.

  https://medium.com/backchannel/marissa-mayer-has-completed-step-one-71dc31912855

I met Marissa Mayer in the early 2000s and got to know her as she became a key part of Google.   I thought she was a great choice for Yahoo and ever since she became CEO in 2012 have been waiting to do a big story on what she's up to there.  Today, on Yahoo's 20th anniversary, I got that story.   Marissa says that there has been real progress at Yahoo, particularly on mobile.  But this is only Step One.  And investors are pushing a different direction.

  https://medium.com/backchannel/marissa-mayer-has-completed-step-one-71dc31912855___

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2015-02-24 15:02:27 (3 comments, 9 reshares, 51 +1s)Open 

I've been following the fortunes of Pebble ever since meeting its CEO Eric Migicovsky at Y Combinator in early 2011.  A blowout Kickstarter campaign put the smart-watch company to an early lead in the wrist war but giants Apple and Google are assumed to take control.  Not so fast, says Eric, introducing a watch called Time--on Kickstarter again.  Here's the first of an occasional series on Pebble as it takes on the big guys.

https://medium.com/backchannel/time-bandit-pebble-s-new-weapon-in-its-battle-with-apple-and-android-watches-6e6f4cc6d372

I've been following the fortunes of Pebble ever since meeting its CEO Eric Migicovsky at Y Combinator in early 2011.  A blowout Kickstarter campaign put the smart-watch company to an early lead in the wrist war but giants Apple and Google are assumed to take control.  Not so fast, says Eric, introducing a watch called Time--on Kickstarter again.  Here's the first of an occasional series on Pebble as it takes on the big guys.

https://medium.com/backchannel/time-bandit-pebble-s-new-weapon-in-its-battle-with-apple-and-android-watches-6e6f4cc6d372___

2015-02-18 22:33:59 (7 comments, 5 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

We all hate data charges on our phones, right? So what if certain apps offered to cover those charges if we used them? Is this an evil back-door kind of attack on net neutrality? Or a way to avoid those burdensome fees that's good for all? Like it or not, a company with serious muscle behind it is pushing this model -- and of course you can read it in Backchannel

https://medium.com/backchannel/should-your-smart-phone-have-congestion-pricing-153b4f7b6ba9

We all hate data charges on our phones, right? So what if certain apps offered to cover those charges if we used them? Is this an evil back-door kind of attack on net neutrality? Or a way to avoid those burdensome fees that's good for all? Like it or not, a company with serious muscle behind it is pushing this model -- and of course you can read it in Backchannel

https://medium.com/backchannel/should-your-smart-phone-have-congestion-pricing-153b4f7b6ba9___

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2015-02-11 15:08:36 (7 comments, 51 reshares, 96 +1s)Open 

For a special issue of their magazine commemorating Moore's Law, the Computer History Museum asked me to write an essay.  I chose to address how the phenomenon Moore described made Google possible--and continues to make the impossible not only possible but inevitable. Those like Larry Page who feel this in their bones have a huge advantage, especially when they are able to brush off criticisms that their ideas are "crazy." 

https://medium.com/backchannel/how-moores-law-made-google-possible-93d52457c5c9

For a special issue of their magazine commemorating Moore's Law, the Computer History Museum asked me to write an essay.  I chose to address how the phenomenon Moore described made Google possible--and continues to make the impossible not only possible but inevitable. Those like Larry Page who feel this in their bones have a huge advantage, especially when they are able to brush off criticisms that their ideas are "crazy." 

https://medium.com/backchannel/how-moores-law-made-google-possible-93d52457c5c9___

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2015-02-09 14:47:32 (6 comments, 50 reshares, 65 +1s)Open 

Here's a tale that reads like a thriller.  The team that won a 2007 DARPA contest hoped its crowdsourcing model would win the tougher 2011 challenge--but a lone hacker fatally disrupted them.  Here's how they painstakingly recreated what happened. And for the first time we hear from the hacker. Big lessons about crowdsourcing, espionage and human nature.

https://medium.com/backchannel/how-a-lone-hacker-shredded-the-myth-of-crowdsourcing-d9d0534f1731

Here's a tale that reads like a thriller.  The team that won a 2007 DARPA contest hoped its crowdsourcing model would win the tougher 2011 challenge--but a lone hacker fatally disrupted them.  Here's how they painstakingly recreated what happened. And for the first time we hear from the hacker. Big lessons about crowdsourcing, espionage and human nature.

https://medium.com/backchannel/how-a-lone-hacker-shredded-the-myth-of-crowdsourcing-d9d0534f1731___

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2015-02-05 15:33:25 (0 comments, 8 reshares, 42 +1s)Open 

Some time ago, I wrote an article called Googlenomics, describing how Google makes its money.   Here's part one of a series for Backchannel called Twitternomics, largely describing how their surprisingly successful ad system works (BTW  it borrows some aspects of AdWords).  This is contrast to Twitter's struggles with user growth.

https://medium.com/backchannel/how-twitter-found-its-money-mojo-1d170e3df985

Some time ago, I wrote an article called Googlenomics, describing how Google makes its money.   Here's part one of a series for Backchannel called Twitternomics, largely describing how their surprisingly successful ad system works (BTW  it borrows some aspects of AdWords).  This is contrast to Twitter's struggles with user growth.

https://medium.com/backchannel/how-twitter-found-its-money-mojo-1d170e3df985___

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2015-01-30 15:58:55 (5 comments, 5 reshares, 29 +1s)Open 

In its quest for a perfect News Feed, Facebook now wants to go beyond algorithms and user behavior and directly ASK users what they want to see. The first part of this project is employing 30 people in Knoxville TN, fulltime, to go through their News Feed and say what they like and don't. The study now has expanded to several hundred remote raters, and soon FB may ask everybody what they want to see. Here's my Backchannel report.


https://medium.com/backchannel/revealed-facebooks-project-to-find-out-what-people-really-want-in-their-news-feed-799dbfb2e8b1

In its quest for a perfect News Feed, Facebook now wants to go beyond algorithms and user behavior and directly ASK users what they want to see. The first part of this project is employing 30 people in Knoxville TN, fulltime, to go through their News Feed and say what they like and don't. The study now has expanded to several hundred remote raters, and soon FB may ask everybody what they want to see. Here's my Backchannel report.


https://medium.com/backchannel/revealed-facebooks-project-to-find-out-what-people-really-want-in-their-news-feed-799dbfb2e8b1___

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2015-01-19 23:54:21 (16 comments, 29 reshares, 113 +1s)Open 

Thanks for the response to my 4-part Google Search series.  I wondered which piece would get the biggest readership--so far its the Deep Learning piece below, which focused on three key figures in Google's ongoing AI push.  I also hope that readers of this series will follow Backchannel on Medium to see some of the other stuff we're doing.  

 https://medium.com/backchannel/google-search-will-be-your-next-brain-5207c26e4523

Thanks for the response to my 4-part Google Search series.  I wondered which piece would get the biggest readership--so far its the Deep Learning piece below, which focused on three key figures in Google's ongoing AI push.  I also hope that readers of this series will follow Backchannel on Medium to see some of the other stuff we're doing.  

 https://medium.com/backchannel/google-search-will-be-your-next-brain-5207c26e4523___

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2015-01-15 21:23:08 (8 comments, 30 reshares, 96 +1s)Open 

I got to do a fairly deep dive (again!) into Google Search and see how it has integrated some big changes, largely to shape the technology towards the age of mobile.

 https://medium.com/backchannel/how-google-search-dealt-with-mobile-33bc09852dc9

I got to do a fairly deep dive (again!) into Google Search and see how it has integrated some big changes, largely to shape the technology towards the age of mobile.

 https://medium.com/backchannel/how-google-search-dealt-with-mobile-33bc09852dc9___

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2014-12-02 20:21:37 (9 comments, 7 reshares, 34 +1s)Open 

Brian Fitzpatrick thought he was a Googler for life.  Then he read an epic blog post about selling tickets for restaurants.  Now he's CTO of Tock, a company planning to do just that. Oh, and also to become the Uber of appointments.

https://medium.com/backchannel/buying-tickets-to-restaurants-114e5b9c768f

Brian Fitzpatrick thought he was a Googler for life.  Then he read an epic blog post about selling tickets for restaurants.  Now he's CTO of Tock, a company planning to do just that. Oh, and also to become the Uber of appointments.

https://medium.com/backchannel/buying-tickets-to-restaurants-114e5b9c768f___

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2014-11-26 18:19:46 (5 comments, 10 reshares, 26 +1s)Open 

Is there such a thing as smartphone addiction?  I am skeptical of such stuff (thought the Internet addiction fears were overblown) but there is serious work being done in Korea by social scientists that makes an interesting case that smartphones are like a dependency-creating drug for some people.  Since Korea is where everybody else is going (despite telcoms who want to keep us in  under bandwidthed and overcharged) maybe we should listen.

https://medium.com/backchannel/what-korea-has-learned-about-smartphone-addiction-46de6185ff04

Is there such a thing as smartphone addiction?  I am skeptical of such stuff (thought the Internet addiction fears were overblown) but there is serious work being done in Korea by social scientists that makes an interesting case that smartphones are like a dependency-creating drug for some people.  Since Korea is where everybody else is going (despite telcoms who want to keep us in  under bandwidthed and overcharged) maybe we should listen.

https://medium.com/backchannel/what-korea-has-learned-about-smartphone-addiction-46de6185ff04___

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2014-11-14 17:27:22 (10 comments, 19 reshares, 56 +1s)Open 

In Dublin this past weekend Tim O'Reilly told me about a great, under-told story--a brilliant programmer who got an apology from the Prime Minster for Britain's shameful treatment of Alan Turing.  In London on Tuesday, I interviewed him.   And today on Backchannel, you can read it yourself. Thanks, Tim!

This piece about @jgrahamc's campaign to get the UK gov to apologize to Alan Turing shows why +Steven Levy's Backchannel on Medium is so great at telling the inside story of events and people that matter in tech. 

I am delighted that I was able to turn Steven on to John Graham Cumming's story, which demonstrates how a geek with a cause can use his skills to make a big difference.___In Dublin this past weekend Tim O'Reilly told me about a great, under-told story--a brilliant programmer who got an apology from the Prime Minster for Britain's shameful treatment of Alan Turing.  In London on Tuesday, I interviewed him.   And today on Backchannel, you can read it yourself. Thanks, Tim!

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2014-10-28 18:23:53 (9 comments, 64 reshares, 103 +1s)Open 

Andrew Conrad of Google X reveals an ambitious attempt to turn the battleship of healthcare:  a nanoparticle platform for early disease detection that starts with a pill, continues with zillions of tiny nano-things looking for cancer and other bad molecules, and then warning you via sensors on a wristband.   "Will I be wearing this in 10 years?" I ask  His answer is yes.

 https://medium.com/backchannel/were-hoping-to-build-the-tricorder-12e1822e5e6a

Andrew Conrad of Google X reveals an ambitious attempt to turn the battleship of healthcare:  a nanoparticle platform for early disease detection that starts with a pill, continues with zillions of tiny nano-things looking for cancer and other bad molecules, and then warning you via sensors on a wristband.   "Will I be wearing this in 10 years?" I ask  His answer is yes.

 https://medium.com/backchannel/were-hoping-to-build-the-tricorder-12e1822e5e6a___

2014-10-23 17:01:54 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

Facebook's new app Rooms, is kind of Bizarro Facebook.  You don't use FB to sign in, you make up multiple names for yourself, and it's all about contacting people you don't know.  Its creator thinks that its a way to extend the great things about classic Internet destinations like Usenet and the Well. 

https://medium.com/p/ab02230b969b

Facebook's new app Rooms, is kind of Bizarro Facebook.  You don't use FB to sign in, you make up multiple names for yourself, and it's all about contacting people you don't know.  Its creator thinks that its a way to extend the great things about classic Internet destinations like Usenet and the Well. 

https://medium.com/p/ab02230b969b___

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2014-10-22 17:21:22 (14 comments, 49 reshares, 189 +1s)Open 

Gmail is ten years old and it was time to update it for the mobile world and generally make it more Googley.   So do some rethinking, add a lot of AI, take advantage of phone smarts, tap into the Google Now backend, and you've got Inbox, an app built on top of Gmail that you use instead of Gmail.  My report....

Gmail is ten years old and it was time to update it for the mobile world and generally make it more Googley.   So do some rethinking, add a lot of AI, take advantage of phone smarts, tap into the Google Now backend, and you've got Inbox, an app built on top of Gmail that you use instead of Gmail.  My report....___

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2014-10-17 16:36:46 (5 comments, 20 reshares, 59 +1s)Open 

Here's a look at Anurag Acharya and Google Scholar on the service's tenth anniversary.  Anurag just can't quit it.

https://medium.com/backchannel/the-gentleman-who-made-scholar-d71289d9a82d

Here's a look at Anurag Acharya and Google Scholar on the service's tenth anniversary.  Anurag just can't quit it.

https://medium.com/backchannel/the-gentleman-who-made-scholar-d71289d9a82d___

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2014-10-09 14:48:37 (3 comments, 16 reshares, 83 +1s)Open 

In Session 2 of the Master Class in Google, Eric and Jonathan (responding to my relentless probing) talk about mergers, Amazon, and whether Google has a "no-asshole" rule in hiring.    Check it out--and if follow Backchannel on Medium, lots of good stuff will come your way in the future.

 https://medium.com/backchannel/google-motorola-was-a-win-we-couldve-won-with-groupon-wed-never-do-what-amazon-is-doing-a17f27b3aec0

In Session 2 of the Master Class in Google, Eric and Jonathan (responding to my relentless probing) talk about mergers, Amazon, and whether Google has a "no-asshole" rule in hiring.    Check it out--and if follow Backchannel on Medium, lots of good stuff will come your way in the future.

 https://medium.com/backchannel/google-motorola-was-a-win-we-couldve-won-with-groupon-wed-never-do-what-amazon-is-doing-a17f27b3aec0___

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2014-10-07 22:05:11 (3 comments, 4 reshares, 46 +1s)Open 

Oh, and by the way, in that nfl story, 
(https://medium.com/backchannel/if-nfl-teams-were-tech-companies-ea4827b95b3b)  Google is the Green Bay packers

Oh, and by the way, in that nfl story, 
(https://medium.com/backchannel/if-nfl-teams-were-tech-companies-ea4827b95b3b)  Google is the Green Bay packers___

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2014-10-07 22:01:04 (2 comments, 4 reshares, 43 +1s)Open 

Today I launched a new hub for tech writing on Medium  -- meet Backchannel.   It's got stories on Google, the most tech savvy runnerup for NY governor ever Zephyr Teachout and what if the NFL represented not cities but tech companies.    That's just day one!

https://medium.com/backchannel

Today I launched a new hub for tech writing on Medium  -- meet Backchannel.   It's got stories on Google, the most tech savvy runnerup for NY governor ever Zephyr Teachout and what if the NFL represented not cities but tech companies.    That's just day one!

https://medium.com/backchannel___

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2014-09-23 04:06:07 (10 comments, 18 reshares, 61 +1s)Open 

I first met Ray Ozzie at the 1984 Hackers Conference. I was writing and he was building software. Both of us are still at it. Today, Ray introduces Talko, his attempt to reinvent the telephone call. And I wrote it all up for Medium

https://medium.com/@stevenlevy/brave-new-phone-call-f4064a4e720f?source=tw-2fff2fb3e70a-1411444873337

I first met Ray Ozzie at the 1984 Hackers Conference. I was writing and he was building software. Both of us are still at it. Today, Ray introduces Talko, his attempt to reinvent the telephone call. And I wrote it all up for Medium

https://medium.com/@stevenlevy/brave-new-phone-call-f4064a4e720f?source=tw-2fff2fb3e70a-1411444873337___

2014-08-28 18:15:53 (7 comments, 11 reshares, 55 +1s)Open 

My last story for Wired is a deep dive into the attempt to reform calcified and often catastrophic government IT.   It's been led by US CTO Todd Park, who is leaving the post -- but not the government.  In fact, he'll be doubling down on his attempt to Silicon Valley-ize the computer systems across the agencies and exec branch.  I got a great firsthand look at this reporting this story, including one amazing speech he gave to geeks from Google and other companies early this summer.   Check it out!

http://www.wired.com/2014/08/healthcare-gov/

My last story for Wired is a deep dive into the attempt to reform calcified and often catastrophic government IT.   It's been led by US CTO Todd Park, who is leaving the post -- but not the government.  In fact, he'll be doubling down on his attempt to Silicon Valley-ize the computer systems across the agencies and exec branch.  I got a great firsthand look at this reporting this story, including one amazing speech he gave to geeks from Google and other companies early this summer.   Check it out!

http://www.wired.com/2014/08/healthcare-gov/___

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2014-08-12 17:50:27 (16 comments, 38 reshares, 122 +1s)Open 

I was lucky enough to be the first journalist to get a look at the new startup founded by the people who invented the original Siri. Their new effort, called Viv, is a cloud-based artificial intelligence that they call "a global brain." You talk to it like you do with Siri, Cortana and Google Now. But the difference is that Viv is open to developers and is able to instantly integrate new businesses, services and databases into its brain. It writes programs on the fly to connect disparate information sources. Viv's founders see it as a ubiquitous AI utility, accessible from any device-- even appliances connected to the "Internet of Things." It's ambitious and risky, but AI experts I talked to are enthusiastic.

http://www.wired.com/2014/08/viv/

I was lucky enough to be the first journalist to get a look at the new startup founded by the people who invented the original Siri. Their new effort, called Viv, is a cloud-based artificial intelligence that they call "a global brain." You talk to it like you do with Siri, Cortana and Google Now. But the difference is that Viv is open to developers and is able to instantly integrate new businesses, services and databases into its brain. It writes programs on the fly to connect disparate information sources. Viv's founders see it as a ubiquitous AI utility, accessible from any device-- even appliances connected to the "Internet of Things." It's ambitious and risky, but AI experts I talked to are enthusiastic.

http://www.wired.com/2014/08/viv/___

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2014-06-27 17:26:32 (18 comments, 69 reshares, 114 +1s)Open 

I've had lots of great conversations with +Sundar Pichai over the years and this one, talking about I/O and various issues involving Android, Chrome and Google in general, was no exception.   

He also takes a pretty good picture, even without the plush toys.

http://www.wired.com/2014/06/sundar-pichai/

I've had lots of great conversations with +Sundar Pichai over the years and this one, talking about I/O and various issues involving Android, Chrome and Google in general, was no exception.   

He also takes a pretty good picture, even without the plush toys.

http://www.wired.com/2014/06/sundar-pichai/___

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2014-06-25 21:17:45 (17 comments, 24 reshares, 109 +1s)Open 


I've been covering startups for a very long time.  But I've never joined one.  Until now.   I love the Medium platform-- with its superb design, it just beams out a message that "literacy lives here."  And it's dead simple to use.  So what would happen if someone created a hub of lively, meaningful tech stories on Medium?  I'm about to find out, as that's my task as a Medium team member.  


https://medium.com/@stevenlevy/6869c0e3262c


I've been covering startups for a very long time.  But I've never joined one.  Until now.   I love the Medium platform-- with its superb design, it just beams out a message that "literacy lives here."  And it's dead simple to use.  So what would happen if someone created a hub of lively, meaningful tech stories on Medium?  I'm about to find out, as that's my task as a Medium team member.  


https://medium.com/@stevenlevy/6869c0e3262c___

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2014-03-24 19:10:36 (0 comments, 4 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

When researching IN THE PLEX, I learned that Kim Malone Scott had written an as yet unpublished novel inspired by her experiences at Google. She graciously let me read it, and it informed my reporting. It was also charming. Now it is available in paper as well as e-book. Congrats, +Kim Malone Scott!

http://www.amazon.com/Virtual-Love-Kim-Malone-Scott/dp/1494968673/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395476027&sr=8-1&keywords=virtual+love

When researching IN THE PLEX, I learned that Kim Malone Scott had written an as yet unpublished novel inspired by her experiences at Google. She graciously let me read it, and it informed my reporting. It was also charming. Now it is available in paper as well as e-book. Congrats, +Kim Malone Scott!

http://www.amazon.com/Virtual-Love-Kim-Malone-Scott/dp/1494968673/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395476027&sr=8-1&keywords=virtual+love___

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2014-02-05 15:15:01 (2 comments, 14 reshares, 83 +1s)Open 

This is a great post by Urs about Google's first data center. (Read comments for Sergey's gloss)  I visited it in at Exodus in 2002, and while it was bigger the cage was still jammed to max.   Ten years later, I got to see a modern Google data center, and it was even more awesome. 

15 years ago (on Feb 1st, 1999) I first set foot in a Google datacenter. Well, not really -- in the Google cage in the Exodus datacenter in Santa Clara.  Larry had led me there for a tour (I wasn't an employee yet) and it was my first time in any datacenter.  And you couldn't really "set foot" in the first Google cage because it was tiny (7'x4', 2.5 sqm) and filled with about 30 PCs on shelves.  a1 through a24 were the main servers to build and serve the index and c1 through c4 were the crawl machines.

By that time we already had a second cage, immediately adjacent, that was about 3x larger and contained our first four racks, each containing 21 machines named d1-42 and f1-42 (don't ask me what happened to the b and e racks, I don't know).  I don't recall who manufactured d and f but they were trays with a single large motherboard and a Pentium II CPU.  (Later, the g rack would be the first corkboard rack.)

Some interesting details from the order:

- Yep, a megabit cost $1200/month and we had to buy two, an amount we didn't actually reach until the summer of 1999.  (At the time, 1 Mbps was roughly equivalent to a million queries per day.)

- You'll see a second line for bandwidth, that was a special deal for crawl bandwidth.  Larry had convinced the sales person that they should give it to us for "cheap" because it's all incoming traffic, which didn't require any extra bandwidth for them because Exodus traffic was primarily outbound.

- Note the handwritten "3 20 Amps in DC" change to the standard order form.  At the time, DC space was sold per square foot, and we always tried to get as much power with it as possible because that's what actually mattered.

- This particular building was one of the first colocation facilities in Silicon Valley.  Our direct neighbor was eBay, a bit further away was a giant cage housing DEC / Altavista, and our next expansion cage was directly adjacent to Inktomi.  The building has long since been shut down. ___This is a great post by Urs about Google's first data center. (Read comments for Sergey's gloss)  I visited it in at Exodus in 2002, and while it was bigger the cage was still jammed to max.   Ten years later, I got to see a modern Google data center, and it was even more awesome. 

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2014-02-05 15:14:39 (0 comments, 6 reshares, 15 +1s)Open 

This is a great post by Urs about Google's first data center. (Read comments for Sergey's gloss)  I visited it in at Exodus in 2002, and while it was bigger the cage was still jammed to max.   Ten years later, I got to see a modern Google data center, and it was even more awesome. 

15 years ago (on Feb 1st, 1999) I first set foot in a Google datacenter. Well, not really -- in the Google cage in the Exodus datacenter in Santa Clara.  Larry had led me there for a tour (I wasn't an employee yet) and it was my first time in any datacenter.  And you couldn't really "set foot" in the first Google cage because it was tiny (7'x4', 2.5 sqm) and filled with about 30 PCs on shelves.  a1 through a24 were the main servers to build and serve the index and c1 through c4 were the crawl machines.

By that time we already had a second cage, immediately adjacent, that was about 3x larger and contained our first four racks, each containing 21 machines named d1-42 and f1-42 (don't ask me what happened to the b and e racks, I don't know).  I don't recall who manufactured d and f but they were trays with a single large motherboard and a Pentium II CPU.  (Later, the g rack would be the first corkboard rack.)

Some interesting details from the order:

- Yep, a megabit cost $1200/month and we had to buy two, an amount we didn't actually reach until the summer of 1999.  (At the time, 1 Mbps was roughly equivalent to a million queries per day.)

- You'll see a second line for bandwidth, that was a special deal for crawl bandwidth.  Larry had convinced the sales person that they should give it to us for "cheap" because it's all incoming traffic, which didn't require any extra bandwidth for them because Exodus traffic was primarily outbound.

- Note the handwritten "3 20 Amps in DC" change to the standard order form.  At the time, DC space was sold per square foot, and we always tried to get as much power with it as possible because that's what actually mattered.

- This particular building was one of the first colocation facilities in Silicon Valley.  Our direct neighbor was eBay, a bit further away was a giant cage housing DEC / Altavista, and our next expansion cage was directly adjacent to Inktomi.  The building has long since been shut down. ___This is a great post by Urs about Google's first data center. (Read comments for Sergey's gloss)  I visited it in at Exodus in 2002, and while it was bigger the cage was still jammed to max.   Ten years later, I got to see a modern Google data center, and it was even more awesome. 

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2014-01-24 23:24:57 (1 comments, 8 reshares, 33 +1s)Open 

I was lucky enough to attend this event.  As usual Stewart's summation is artful and entertaining on its own.  But everyone should get the podcast of the conversation.

Brian Eno & Danny Hillis & Surrender

This week, for the 10th anniversary of Long Now’s Seminars About Long-term Thinking (SALT), Brian Eno and Danny Hillis conversed on stage about conversation itself, about living with long term thinking, and about the role of surrender.  I summarized so:

Take the next legal U-turn (Brian Eno & Danny Hillis talk)

“Bitching Betty,” they call the robotic voice of the car’s GPS guidance system.  Eno and Hillis, on their road trips, always become so engrossed in conversation that they get lost—one time, driving to Monterey they wound up in Sacramento, 200 miles wrong.  So they turn on GPS, and Betty joins the conversation with helpful advice about U-turns.

Hillis observed, “The GPS is very good at giving you instructions to get someplace.  But Brian and I have no idea where we’re going; we just want some time together.  What usually happens for us after a couple days of frustratingly looking at the tiny GPS map is that we stop and buy a big paper map.  And the moment we open a map of Nevada or Arizona, it feels like we’re in a much bigger world.  The big maps are not that useful to navigate by, but there’s a sense of relief of seeing the bigger context and all the possibilities of where we might go.  That’s exactly what The Long Now Foundation is for.”

Culture is a long conversation, Eno proposed.  “When I talk about the practice of art I often use the word “conversation” because I think that you never see a piece of art on its own.  You look at a painting in relation to the whole conversation of paintings.  Some things are completely meaningless outside of that kind of context.  if you think about Kazimir Malevich’s “White on White” painting, it’s hardly a picture actually, but it’s an important picture in the history of painting up to that point.”

Hillis replied, “My plan for painting is to have my bones removed and replaced with titanium, and then I grind up my bones to make white pigment.”  Eno: “That’s very old-fashioned.”

Hillis talked about the long-term stories we live by and how our expectations of the future shape the future, such as our hopes about space travel.  Eno said that Mars is too difficult to live on, so what’s the point, and Hillis said, “That’s short-term thinking. There are three big game-changers going on: globalization, computers, and synthetic biology.  (If I were a grad student now, I wouldn’t study computer science, I’d study synthetic biology.)  I probably wouldn’t want to live on Mars in this body, but I could imagine adapting myself so I would want to live on Mars.  To me it’s pretty inevitable that Earth is just our starting point.”

Eno remarked, “Sex, drugs, art, and religion—those are all activities in which you deliberately lose yourself.  You stop being you and you let yourself become part of something else.  You surrender control.  I think surrendering is a great gift that human beings have.  One of the experiences of art is relearning and rehearsing surrender properly.  And one of the values perhaps of immersing yourself in very long periods of time is losing the sense of yourself as a single focus of the universe and seeing yourself as one small dot on this long line reaching out to the edges of time in each direction.“

Hillis described some elements of surrender designed in to the visitor experience of the 10,000-year Clock being built in the mountains of west Texas.  “You’ll be away from your usual environment for days to travel to the remote site.  Because of where it is on the mountain, you have to wake up before dawn, and there’s the physical exertion of climbing up the mountain.  As you climb, there’s some points of confusion, where you’re not sure if you’re in the right place.

“For example, in the total darkness inside the mountain, as you go up the spiral stairs surrounding the Clock mechanism for hundreds of feet, you think you know where you’re going because there’s light at the top of the shaft that you’re climbing toward, but as you get up there, the stairs keep becoming narrower, and you see they’re tapering off to smaller than you could possibly walk on.  And you realize, ‘My plan isn’t going to work.’  

“You have to get away from the idea of direct progress and surrender that kind of control in order to find your way.“___I was lucky enough to attend this event.  As usual Stewart's summation is artful and entertaining on its own.  But everyone should get the podcast of the conversation.

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2014-01-24 17:49:40 (8 comments, 11 reshares, 62 +1s)Open 

For 30 years I've been sitting on an amazing transcript of my interview with Steve Jobs in November 1983.  I was working on a story about the Mac launch for Rolling Stone, and I went to dinner with Steve.  It was the first time we talked.   In many ways, he was the Steve Jobs we all have come to know -- the one who bowled us over with his grasp of product and his ability to seize the technological moment of history.  In other ways, he was still finding his way to project to the public, and he shows some raw vulnerability, especially since we had just met.  Also, I got to tell him about the book I had just finished, Hackers.  

So for the Mac's 30th anniversary, I decided to append the whole thing to my history of Macintosh, Insanely Great.  It felt right to put the source material with the book.   You can read it all there, but please take time to read the book itself andappreci... more »

For 30 years I've been sitting on an amazing transcript of my interview with Steve Jobs in November 1983.  I was working on a story about the Mac launch for Rolling Stone, and I went to dinner with Steve.  It was the first time we talked.   In many ways, he was the Steve Jobs we all have come to know -- the one who bowled us over with his grasp of product and his ability to seize the technological moment of history.  In other ways, he was still finding his way to project to the public, and he shows some raw vulnerability, especially since we had just met.  Also, I got to tell him about the book I had just finished, Hackers.  

So for the Mac's 30th anniversary, I decided to append the whole thing to my history of Macintosh, Insanely Great.  It felt right to put the source material with the book.   You can read it all there, but please take time to read the book itself and appreciate the astonishing time we live in. 


http://www.amazon.com/Insanely-Great-Macintosh-Computer-Everything-ebook/dp/B006ZA7E6M/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=___

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2014-01-17 22:13:24 (16 comments, 15 reshares, 51 +1s)Open 

What did Obama give Silicon Valley in his NSA announcement?  Not as much as they hoped for.   And what really will rankle FB, Google, MS, and the rest is that under the guise of NSA reform, he's also going to looking more closely at the tech industry's privacy practices. 


http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2014/01/obama-nsa-2/

What did Obama give Silicon Valley in his NSA announcement?  Not as much as they hoped for.   And what really will rankle FB, Google, MS, and the rest is that under the guise of NSA reform, he's also going to looking more closely at the tech industry's privacy practices. 


http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2014/01/obama-nsa-2/___

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2014-01-07 13:15:20 (14 comments, 60 reshares, 159 +1s)Open 

I spent the last few months of 2013 working on a story that combined two threads in my work: covering the big, disruptive tech companies that rose with the Internet, and decoding the big issues in the effort to maintain national security and preserve privacy (the subject my book, Crypto.)  So it was a no-brainer for me to assess the Post-Snowden landscape.   I got cooperation from the companies and, in a nice development, the NSA itself.    It's the February WIRED cover, but you can read it today. 

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2014/01/how-the-us-almost-killed-the-internet/

I spent the last few months of 2013 working on a story that combined two threads in my work: covering the big, disruptive tech companies that rose with the Internet, and decoding the big issues in the effort to maintain national security and preserve privacy (the subject my book, Crypto.)  So it was a no-brainer for me to assess the Post-Snowden landscape.   I got cooperation from the companies and, in a nice development, the NSA itself.    It's the February WIRED cover, but you can read it today. 

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2014/01/how-the-us-almost-killed-the-internet/___

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2013-11-12 16:05:51 (8 comments, 11 reshares, 51 +1s)Open 

The conversation I had with Bill Gates and Bill Clinton is now online.    I don't need to convince you that these two guys are very very smart.  We had a great session.   I also made sure that I asked them both about the recent NSA flap.   During the 90s Crypto Wars, Gates, as head of Microsoft, was pushing the Clinton Administration to loosen export regulations on encryption.   The Clinton-ites tried to sell us the Clipper Chip.   It's interesting to see what theysay today--Gates sounds more like a hardliner than the former President. 

http://www.wired.com/business/2013/11/bill-gates-bill-clinton-wired/all/

The conversation I had with Bill Gates and Bill Clinton is now online.    I don't need to convince you that these two guys are very very smart.  We had a great session.   I also made sure that I asked them both about the recent NSA flap.   During the 90s Crypto Wars, Gates, as head of Microsoft, was pushing the Clinton Administration to loosen export regulations on encryption.   The Clinton-ites tried to sell us the Clipper Chip.   It's interesting to see what theysay today--Gates sounds more like a hardliner than the former President. 

http://www.wired.com/business/2013/11/bill-gates-bill-clinton-wired/all/___

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2013-11-08 15:53:24 (7 comments, 8 reshares, 30 +1s)Open 

I engaged in a bit of double Billing recently.    Here's a clip about former president Clinton and former MS CEO (and current super-philanthropist)  Gates responding to my question about connecting the other 5 billion.  Note that this time Gates did not take a swipe at Project Loon.

I engaged in a bit of double Billing recently.    Here's a clip about former president Clinton and former MS CEO (and current super-philanthropist)  Gates responding to my question about connecting the other 5 billion.  Note that this time Gates did not take a swipe at Project Loon.___

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2013-10-29 12:11:10 (4 comments, 31 reshares, 109 +1s)Open 

When I was documenting how Google was transforming Motorola Mobility last summer I was the first journalist to see "Windy Day," an amazing short animated film that you watch as if you're seeing street theatre.  I was struck not only by the technology but the quality--my first thought was "Pixar"!  Indeed, some of Pixar's best veterans--and award winning artists and illustrators as well--worked on this extravagant product, supposedly the first in a series that will introduce a new medium.    Here's my inside story. 

http://www.wired.com/business/2013/10/motorola-google-mouse/?cid=co13731384

When I was documenting how Google was transforming Motorola Mobility last summer I was the first journalist to see "Windy Day," an amazing short animated film that you watch as if you're seeing street theatre.  I was struck not only by the technology but the quality--my first thought was "Pixar"!  Indeed, some of Pixar's best veterans--and award winning artists and illustrators as well--worked on this extravagant product, supposedly the first in a series that will introduce a new medium.    Here's my inside story. 

http://www.wired.com/business/2013/10/motorola-google-mouse/?cid=co13731384___

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2013-10-24 02:13:21 (4 comments, 14 reshares, 63 +1s)Open 

When Smithsonian Mag was putting together their "101 Objects that Made America," they assigned me to write about the ENIAC computer.  Little did they know that the ENIAC's inventor was at one time my landlord.   Every month I wrote a check to "J. Presper Eckert" and had no idea of his key role in the realm of computers  Only years later did I get it.  Here's the tale. 

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/The-Brief-History-of-the-ENIAC-Computer-228879421.html

When Smithsonian Mag was putting together their "101 Objects that Made America," they assigned me to write about the ENIAC computer.  Little did they know that the ENIAC's inventor was at one time my landlord.   Every month I wrote a check to "J. Presper Eckert" and had no idea of his key role in the realm of computers  Only years later did I get it.  Here's the tale. 

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/The-Brief-History-of-the-ENIAC-Computer-228879421.html___

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2013-10-20 19:11:28 (16 comments, 8 reshares, 69 +1s)Open 

I can understand the author who said that 90% of his text was better than none.  But personally, I chose not to publish In the Plex in China when I was told it would have to be censored.   Since I was dealing critically with Google's behavior in submitting to Chinese censorship, my decision struck me as kind of a no-brainer..  But what do you folks think?

I can understand the author who said that 90% of his text was better than none.  But personally, I chose not to publish In the Plex in China when I was told it would have to be censored.   Since I was dealing critically with Google's behavior in submitting to Chinese censorship, my decision struck me as kind of a no-brainer..  But what do you folks think?___

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2013-10-17 21:24:38 (4 comments, 6 reshares, 28 +1s)Open 

When I researched In the Plex I learned about an unpublished novel written by Kim Malone Scott, a leader of the AdSense team.   "VIrtual Love" was a great window into Google culture.   When I recently read "The Circle" I found a lot of coincidental similarities.  (I assume Dave Eggers never heard of it-- no accusations here!)   I contacted Kim and she told me she was planning to finally publish it herself.  And now it's up!   Here's the story behind it.   


http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/10/virtual-love-google-novel/

When I researched In the Plex I learned about an unpublished novel written by Kim Malone Scott, a leader of the AdSense team.   "VIrtual Love" was a great window into Google culture.   When I recently read "The Circle" I found a lot of coincidental similarities.  (I assume Dave Eggers never heard of it-- no accusations here!)   I contacted Kim and she told me she was planning to finally publish it herself.  And now it's up!   Here's the story behind it.   


http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/10/virtual-love-google-novel/___

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2013-10-08 13:12:43 (10 comments, 17 reshares, 75 +1s)Open 

It was early spring when Nest's Tony Fadell clued me in to his followup to the Learning Thermostat-- a smart, connected, speaking, night-lighting, pre-warming, and of course great-looking smoke alarm.  I knew instantly that it was the right step in Nest's overall plan to build the conscious home.   Here's the story of its development and what it means.

http://www.wired.com/business/2013/10/nest-smoke-detector/?cid=co12859524

It was early spring when Nest's Tony Fadell clued me in to his followup to the Learning Thermostat-- a smart, connected, speaking, night-lighting, pre-warming, and of course great-looking smoke alarm.  I knew instantly that it was the right step in Nest's overall plan to build the conscious home.   Here's the story of its development and what it means.

http://www.wired.com/business/2013/10/nest-smoke-detector/?cid=co12859524___

2013-09-07 13:46:46 (4 comments, 16 reshares, 69 +1s)Open 

I spent much of the 90s covering the Crypto Wars, beginning with a Wired article on Cypherpunks (cover story of the mag's second issue), through the Clipper Chip battle, and until its provisional conclusion.  I published my book "Crypto" in 2001.   But as we all know, this war wasn't over.  The same issues are being aired out, the talking points similar.  And the stakes even higher.  

 I was happy to see that my 1994 article for the Sunday NYT Mag was the link for the anchor text "Clipper Chip"  in the NYT/Guardia/Pro Publica piece about the NSA's success in circumventing encryption.   This was written in the middle of that battle; the book reveals what happened next.   Until this round, at least.

I spent much of the 90s covering the Crypto Wars, beginning with a Wired article on Cypherpunks (cover story of the mag's second issue), through the Clipper Chip battle, and until its provisional conclusion.  I published my book "Crypto" in 2001.   But as we all know, this war wasn't over.  The same issues are being aired out, the talking points similar.  And the stakes even higher.  

 I was happy to see that my 1994 article for the Sunday NYT Mag was the link for the anchor text "Clipper Chip"  in the NYT/Guardia/Pro Publica piece about the NSA's success in circumventing encryption.   This was written in the middle of that battle; the book reveals what happened next.   Until this round, at least.___

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2013-09-05 21:03:36 (7 comments, 19 reshares, 59 +1s)Open 

Readers of "Crypto" (published 2001)  won't be surprised.  Towards the end, explaining the NSA's turnaround on allowing commercial encryption, I wrote, "Perhaps those shiny 'uncrackable'  programs created by the private sector really weren't so uncrackable after all, and the NSA was satisfied at its ability to get plaintext when it needed to."

Readers of "Crypto" (published 2001)  won't be surprised.  Towards the end, explaining the NSA's turnaround on allowing commercial encryption, I wrote, "Perhaps those shiny 'uncrackable'  programs created by the private sector really weren't so uncrackable after all, and the NSA was satisfied at its ability to get plaintext when it needed to."___

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2013-08-26 18:00:32 (2 comments, 7 reshares, 28 +1s)Open 

Google's Project Loon is one way to help get the "other five billion" connected.  Last week Facebook announced it was forming a coalition of companies to do it through lowering costs and offering low-data services.   There were lots of questions and I got to sat down with Mark Zuckerberg to ask some of them.  

Google's Project Loon is one way to help get the "other five billion" connected.  Last week Facebook announced it was forming a coalition of companies to do it through lowering costs and offering low-data services.   There were lots of questions and I got to sat down with Mark Zuckerberg to ask some of them.  ___

2013-08-22 04:34:31 (10 comments, 7 reshares, 60 +1s)Open 

Saw "Jobs." Lots to say but one thing astounds: the character who plays +Andy Hertzfeld  (I think) is wearing a first Hackers Conference T-shirt! (brilliant design by Scott Kim) Where did they get that shirt?  It's 30 years old!  I would give kudos but unfortunately the scene in which it appears occurs over a year before the conference, when the shirts were printed.

Saw "Jobs." Lots to say but one thing astounds: the character who plays +Andy Hertzfeld  (I think) is wearing a first Hackers Conference T-shirt! (brilliant design by Scott Kim) Where did they get that shirt?  It's 30 years old!  I would give kudos but unfortunately the scene in which it appears occurs over a year before the conference, when the shirts were printed.___

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2013-08-13 15:37:16 (6 comments, 12 reshares, 47 +1s)Open 

The mystery is solved-- it was Project Loon!

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2013/08/googlex-project-loon/all/

The mystery is solved-- it was Project Loon!

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2013/08/googlex-project-loon/all/___

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2013-08-02 13:42:16 (12 comments, 17 reshares, 93 +1s)Open 

I got to visit Motorola Mobility in advance of their launch of the Moto X.   I saw some familiar faces (I first met +Lior Ron who is  top product guy, in Israel in 2007; met Regina Dugan when we both spoke at EG a couple of years ago)  and talked to some unfamiliar people, a few of whom were old Motorola hands who can't believe their good fortune that Google is now bankrolling their formerly troubled company.  Oh, and I figured out what Google had in mind besides patents when it paid $12.5 billion for Motorola. 

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2013/08/inside-story-of-moto-x/

I got to visit Motorola Mobility in advance of their launch of the Moto X.   I saw some familiar faces (I first met +Lior Ron who is  top product guy, in Israel in 2007; met Regina Dugan when we both spoke at EG a couple of years ago)  and talked to some unfamiliar people, a few of whom were old Motorola hands who can't believe their good fortune that Google is now bankrolling their formerly troubled company.  Oh, and I figured out what Google had in mind besides patents when it paid $12.5 billion for Motorola. 

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2013/08/inside-story-of-moto-x/___

2013-07-31 14:53:09 (14 comments, 19 reshares, 70 +1s)Open 

Re the Abelson Report on MIT's behavior in Swartz case. Interesting to see some headlines to the effect that "MIT Cleared in Report of Suicide of Activist" (NY Times.)   I don't think that's the bald outcome.  But what Abelson has done is kind of clever.  He has stuck to the facts, which show no smoking gun pointed at Aaron.  But there is plenty of evidence that MIT did not do what it should.  Abelson basically airs out MIT's lame justifications for its actions or non-actions, and lets the institution hang itself by its own rope.  Thus while the report seemingly displays the maddening "neutrality" that was such a bane for Aaron, it really provides plenty of grist to damn the behavior of an institution that has failed its mission and its community. 

Re the Abelson Report on MIT's behavior in Swartz case. Interesting to see some headlines to the effect that "MIT Cleared in Report of Suicide of Activist" (NY Times.)   I don't think that's the bald outcome.  But what Abelson has done is kind of clever.  He has stuck to the facts, which show no smoking gun pointed at Aaron.  But there is plenty of evidence that MIT did not do what it should.  Abelson basically airs out MIT's lame justifications for its actions or non-actions, and lets the institution hang itself by its own rope.  Thus while the report seemingly displays the maddening "neutrality" that was such a bane for Aaron, it really provides plenty of grist to damn the behavior of an institution that has failed its mission and its community. ___

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