My entire Wired story is now available in the December issue, on newsstands now, or online here (the same spot that held the Vanish blog throughout the contest). It includes an interactive map that shows my route with some of the locations of the people who hunted me, and way more pictures of me than [...] Read more – ‘…And that’s the rest of the story’.
In advance of my upcoming piece in Wired recapping my effort to Vanish, I can be found hawking it in multiple mediums this week. First, tonight, live on CNN’s Campbell Brown Show at 8:30 pm. [UPDATE: It's not terribly easy to find, but the video from this is available at the site. (You'll have to [...] Read more – ‘Vanish-related media sightings’.
Twenty-five days. That’s how long I lasted on the lam. Most people arriving at this site will already know the basics: Last month, after writing a story for Wired about people who faked their own deaths, disappearing from their lives to start again, I set out to do something similar myself. I would drop out [...] Read more – ‘Found’.
What does it take to up and disappear these days? Not to head off the grid for a few days, mind you, but to actually vanish from your life? That question is the subject of a two-part feature I’ve been working on for Wired over the past few months, the first piece of which is [...] Read more – ‘Vanished’.
At yesterday’s press conference describing the administration’s new “financial stability plan” for the banking system, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner offered what seems to be the obligatory new Web site for any Obama administration proposal: Our work begins with a new framework of oversight and governance of all aspects of our Financial Stability Plan. The American [...] Read more – ‘New administration Web sites appear to be “shovel ready”’.
When the Obama transition team posted the President-elect’s first weekly video address on YouTube, several transparancy advocates complained that, without comments or response videos enabled, the addresses were merely a one-way conversation. The Obama camp soon relented on comments, resulting in a typical flood of juvenille nonsense following each of the President’s sober monologues. But [...] Read more – ‘Boener to Obama: do you fear my videos?’.
The most vexing phenomenon I encountered in my recent reporting on Obama’s Web team was the insistence by Obama press folks that everyone inside the transition team speak on background, with quotes attributable only to unnamed “Obama aides.” At first it reminded me of the way certain corporate PR departments — hello, Google — tacitly [...] Read more – ‘Transparency through anonymity?’.
The first week of the Obama administration has offered answers to what were probably the four biggest questions about how he would translate the campaign’s tech acumen into the White House: The first, which I addressed earlier in the week, was to what extent would the White House Web site feature the kind of social [...] Read more – ‘Four Obama reboot-the-White House questions answered’.
Just back from drinking mimosa’s and celebrating the inaugural festivities, I checked in on the new White House Web site. TechPresident reports that the handover happened precisely on time, at 12:01 pm eastern; pretty cool that the Web operation mirrors the transfer of power tradition online. As Obama’s online folks had told me back in [...] Read more – ‘@Potus: virtual transition equally smooth, less historic (for now)’.
My story in this month’s Wired, on how technologically savvy Obama’s presidency can be, headed to the printer just before Christmas and came out online today. There were several developments on the Obama Web/technology front in the interim (although, for better or worse, not as many as I’d expected). The most significant was probably a [...] Read more – ‘@Potus: a wired presidency?’.
Just in time for the inauguration, my latest feature for Wired — on whether and how President Obama will carry out his promises to reboot the federal government — is available online. The glossy version should be out sometime later this week or early next. I’ll have more to write shortly here about what has [...] Read more – ‘@Potus (full disclosure)’.
My latest feature for Wired, “Law of the Jungle,” is out in the June issue. Seven months in the making, it’s the story of how an internationally renowned primatologist named Marc van Roosmalen went from being hailed as an environmental hero to being labeled Brazil’s foremost environmental criminal — sentenced to more than a dozen [...] Read more – ‘Monkey business’.
In what’s becoming a yearly tradition, and roughly as safe a bet as UNC making the NCAA Tournament, Wired picked up it’s fifth straight nod as a finalist for the National Magazine Award for General Excellence.” A win would make it three out of the last four. One of the three issues the magazine submitted [...] Read more – ‘Wired makes it five straight’.
A little late posting this, but I made a pair of appearances on National Public Radio recently, both times discussing the ins and outs of cellulosic ethanol based on my Wired piece. Both shows are archived for your listening pleasure: First off, “Talk of the Nation Science Friday,” on October 5. Followed by “Fair Game,” [...] Read more – ‘The NPR double’.
My latest feature for Wired, about the science of cellulosic ethanol, begins its run on newsstands this week. The full story is also online, here. That’s a stalk of switchgrass adorning the cover, but the cellulosic ethanol described in the story actually involves making fuel from a wide variety of different plants—e.g. poplar trees, wood [...] Read more – ‘Pipe dream to tailpipe?’.
“Cartographers manufacture power,” the eminent geographer J.B. Harley once wrote. So what happens to that power when cartography goes digital? That’s the question I endeavor to tackle in my latest feature for Wired, “The Whole Earth Catalogued.” It’s just out, in the July issue that features the Transformers movie on the cover (or alternately, if [...] Read more – ‘Armchair cartography’.
Nathan Wolfe, the subject of my recent Wired profile, has a new paper out in Nature this week — co-authored with Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel — outlining some of the ideas from the story in greater scientific depth. The abstract is here. Some further coverage at MSNBC here. Wolfe and Diamond, [...] Read more – ‘More on the mystery of emerging viruses’.
My latest piece for Wired, about UCLA biologist Nathan Wolfe‘s efforts to detect and study viruses as they cross over from wild animals to humans in remote corners of the world, is out in the May issue. It’s on newsstands now, and also available online here. Some additional photos from my reporting trip to Cameroon [...] Read more – ‘Bushmeat and the next pandemic’.
My latest feature in Wired is just out (on the newsstands at the moment; not yet online but I’ll post it when it is online here). It’s a profile of Numenta, a new company founded by Jeff Hawkins, the inventor of the Palm Pilot and Treo. Hawkins has been studying neuroscience on his own for [...] Read more – ‘Software on the brain’.
My most recent feature for Wired, which has been out on the newsstands for a couple weeks, went up online today, here. It’s about a New York company, Meaningful Machines, that has come up with a novel technology for doing machine translation — software-based translation of text from one language to another. I wrote about [...] Read more – ‘What’s the meaning of this?’.
I’m a little behind posting this, but for last month’s issue of Wired Test (an occasional glossy supplement that comes with the magazine), I wrote about a San Francisco photographer who shoots under the name Thomas Hawk. I followed Hawk around for a day, curious about the run-ins (some of which have been documented on [...] Read more – ‘The photo police’.
Earlier this summer, for Wired, I interviewed Larry Brilliant, the new head of the Google Foundation, about his plans for the foundation’s billion dollar bankroll. Besides being a fascinating character — former head of the smallpox eradication effort in India and elsewhere (something his guru in an Indian monastery told him to pursue), founder of [...] Read more – ‘A billion dollars to give away? Brilliant!’.
A few recent stories of mine found their way into publication: I wrote about some scientists trying to find a way to predict earthquakes, for the Post section of Wired magazine’s May issue, online here. For a recently-released paperback book, Before the Mortgage (a collection of essays centered around the various humorous travails of 20-something [...] Read more – ‘Earthquakes, apartments, and riot police’.