Annalee Newitz

Futures not taken

Of Orson and Dongtan
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annalee@techsploitation.com

TECHSPLOITATION The future is a crowded graveyard, full of dead possibilities. Each headstone marks a timeline that never happened, and there's something genuinely mournful about them. Read more »

iPhone politics

Why everyone cares about Apple's newest toy
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› techsploitation.com

TECHSPLOITATION The marketing maestros at Apple have turned the iPhone into the summer's biggest consumer electronics blockbuster, and they didn't even have to pay Michael Bay millions of bucks to write robot piss jokes to do it. Read more »

"Transformers" without irony

If you want to enjoy this flick without guilt, you'll have to ignore the whole Middle East issue.
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annalee@techsploitation.com

TECHSPLOITATION There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying truck commercials. Enjoying truck commercials can even be a politically innocent act — it does not signify that you secretly lust after fossil fuels. Plus, there's a payoff to admitting that such pleasures can be had guilt free: you can enjoy watching Michael Bay's latest sci-fi actionfest, Transformers, on its own terms. If you're one of the people who helped the flick earn more than $100 million during its opening week, you may not need my help. Read more »

Never mind the steampunk

Can't our devices be pretty and practical?
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annalee@techsploitation.com

TECHSPLOITATION If someone were to hold a knife to your throat and ask what the aesthetic sensibilities of the computer age are, you'd probably babble something about the iPod and its curvy, candy-colored precursor, the iMac. You'd think of the typical PC laptop, dumb and square and black, and you'd wonder whether this question about aesthetics was actually a trick. Because there are no computer age aesthetics.

Of course I'm exaggerating. Read more »

The future of paper

Post-print media, paper will survive. But will print journalists?
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annalee@techsploitation.com

TECHSPLOITATION Twenty years from now, paper will no longer be a tool for mass communication. Instead it will be a substance akin to plastic, a mere fabricated building material with industrial and consumer applications. Read more »

True TorrentSpies

Hollywood takes aim at online privacy
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annalee@techsploitation.com

TECHSPLOITATION It's no big surprise that entertainment megacorp Columbia is suing more file sharers. But there is something quite shocking about its latest infringement lawsuit against Web site TorrentSpy.com. With this lawsuit, Columbia is attempting to do nothing short of changing the way evidence is gathered via the legal discovery process. Read more »

Google in my bedroom

Search engine as panopticon
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annalee@techsploitation.com

TECHSPLOITATION A couple of weeks ago Google announced its latest map widget with much fanfare. Called Street View, it's an option on Google Maps that gives you (literally) a view from street level of the address you're searching for. When you go to Google Maps, click "Street View" in the upper right corner (not all cities have it — try San Francisco or New York), and you'll get a little icon shaped like a human that you can move around the city grid. Read more »

Wikipedia activism

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annalee@techsploitation.com

TECHSPLOITATION When I edit Wikipedia, I am fighting for the future. There are certain things and people whose memories I want preserved for generations to come so that curious searchers a century from now will know the full story. Via Wikipedia, they will get more than stories of great politicians and giant corporations from glossy histories. I want this user-edited, online encyclopedia to tell tales of the brave and the marginal as well as the notorious and the powerful. Read more »

Green libertarians

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annalee@techsploitation.com

TECHSPLOITATION It sounds crazy, but it just might work: green libertarianism could become the new reformist movement in politics and cultural life.

In the 1980s, suggesting that green culture could be combined with libertarianism would have been worse than foolish. Those were the days when libertarians protested having to get their cars smog-checked because it represented government control of their personal property. Read more »

09 F9

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annalee@techsploitation.com

TECHSPLOITATION I have a number, and therefore I am a free person. That's the message more than a million protesters across the Internet have been broadcasting throughout the month of May as they publish the 128-bit number familiarly known as 09 F9. Read more »