Category Archives: technology


hilton-franceMeasures internet traffic for the two Parises. By Tim Schwartz via Inspire me, now!


Lifting Body

1958-pontiacToday, Jalopnik features a memorial to the late-lamented Pontiac: fifty ads promoting products that proudly bore the Chieftain (if in name only).

In 1958, Pontiacs were featured in scenes showing our belated nascent space effort. Rather than the usual Redstone or Nike Hercules rockets, the background of this ad features a primordial lifting body, precursor to the cancelled Dyna-Soar, and the soon-to-be-lamented Shuttle, Pontiac of the heavens.

Future Tense

velourOne can only hope that we still have velour and go-go boots in the 23rd century.

As Spock once said, “After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.”

Isn’t Riverside the birthplace of the immortal Priceline Negotiator?

Via AP/Yahoo News

Identify This Car

lancia1Jalopnik, master of all things carly, has a nice report from the Concorso d’Eleganza, the warm hug for Italian motoring held annually for swells at the Villa d’Este on Lake Como.

Though consumed with the latest coolishness (something called the Mantide, a vehicle that proves that a BMW Z4 is not the ultimate in phallic irony), they were smart enough to kick off their post with the photo above, and to include a second photo:

lancia2And though the best looking and most interesting bent metal in their report, Jalopnik neither identifies nor describes this pleasing design. Clearly a pre-war Lancia, I’d like to know more.

DIYers Unite

noisebridge2_660Noisebridge, a hacker space in San Francisco
Wired Magazine reports on the emergence of hacker spaces and notion of hacker collectives. With international locationsapproaching three digits, the collectives already have a network replete with weekly telephone conferences and exchange programs.

Paradigm Shift

British magazine Autocar has the first review of the Tata Nano, a car that redefines transportation in India — and around the world.

Via Jalopnik.

Reshaping the Nation

duststorm-on-the-panhandleDust storm on the panhandle, courtesy of Library of Congress

NYT blog post by Harvard economist Ed Glaeser affirms Richard Florida’s hypotheses about how the downturn will impact the nation, and how knowledge economy growth is the critical factor:

Given the enormous gap in unemployment between skilled and unskilled workers, it isn’t surprising that skills best explain today’s metropolitan unemployment rates. The share of adults with college degrees in 2000 can, on its own, explain about one-half of the variation in the unemployment rate.

As Florida put it, cities that grew up in the 30s — cities that lack knowledge-economy networks — will suffer disproportionately.

During the recessions, thousands fled the Dust Bowl. In the 1970s and 1980s, there was a massive exodus from the Rust Belt. Today’s recession will also prompt mobility, probably toward more skilled, more centralized cities with less historical commitment to manufacturing. Government policies that try to bolster declining regions would artificially reduce that productivity-enhancing mobility. It would be far wiser to focus on aid that helps poor people rather than to throw money at poor places.