How Dreams of Spacefaring Zombies Led to the Launch of Sputnik.
What, you think there’s enough room on Earth for everyone who has ever lived?
Early on a Saturday morning 60 years ago, the millennia-old dream of spaceflight came true as Sputnik 1 rocketed into orbit to become Earth’s first human-made satellite. The mission notoriously shocked the world and minted a new era of human exploration, but what’s less well-known is that Sputnik arose, in part, from a 19th century … Read more
Algorithms Supercharged Gerrymandering. We Should Use Them to Fix it.
A new suite of open source redistricting software can help citizens reclaim democracy.
Today, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for Gill v. Whitford, in which the state of Wisconsin will argue that congressional redistricting practices are not subject to judicial oversight. At the core of this hearing is whether partisan gerrymandering—a tactic used by political parties to redraw congressional voting districts so that the voting power within those … Read more
Who Is Satoshi Nakamoto, the Creator of Bitcoin?
Like a frustrating episode of Lost, there’s one too many clues and few, if any, answers.
For all of Bitcoin’s fabled transparency, a key piece of this bubblicious puzzle remains elusively opaque. Who the hell is Satoshi Nakamoto? Like a frustrating episode of Lost, there’s one too many clues and few if any answers. Satoshi, of course, is the one who started it all, unleashing his concept of a cryptographic, self-regulating … Read more
What the Near Future Is Actually Going to Look Like.
The biggest lie about the future is that it's going to look much different from today.
The biggest lie about the future is that it’s going to look much different from today. I mean, The Jetsons and Futurama are one thing, but in near-future portrayals—those shown in goofball blockbusters like I, Robot and Minority Report—the world is given a glossy, high-tech makeover. These futuristic landscapes suggest we’re about to see a … Read more
'Black Box' Software Could Be the Future of Cryptography
“Traditional encryption is about securing data” said Dr. Dan Boneh
Imagine trying to throw a dart at a bullseye that’s 200 feet away with only your bare hands. Now, add a blindfold to the equation. Theoretically, it might be possible. But practically, it’s pretty much impossible—about the same odds as trying to break a new form of software protection called indistinguishability obfuscation. Indistinguishability obfuscation—similar in … Read more