How Europe overtook the US in championing free markets

The deregulation of major U.S. industries like telecom and energy in the 1970s and 80s sparked competition that lowered consumer prices and drove product innovation between competitors. Europe, on the other hand, lagged behind with more expensive internet, phone plans, airline tickets, and more until around 2000 when a major reversal of this trend began. […]

Spider eyes inspire a new kind of depth-sensing camera

As robots and gadgets continue to pervade our everyday lives, they increasingly need to see in 3D — but as evidenced by the notch in your iPhone, depth-sensing cameras are still pretty bulky. A new approach inspired by how some spiders sense the distance to their prey could change that. Jumping spiders don’t have room […]

Silicon Valley’s competing philosophies on tech ethics with The New Yorker’s Andrew Marantz

“If Silicon Valley is going to keep telling itself the story that the only uses of their technology will be the most optimistic, the most hopeful, the most salubrious, the most prosocial,” New Yorker staff writer Andrew Marantz told me in Part 1 of this recent conversation for Extra Crunch, “you can try to rebut […]

Kenshō, ‘the antithesis of Goop,’ launches a research-based guide to natural medicine

Goop is cashing in on pseudoscience and, in the process, giving natural health practices a bad name. Krista Berlincourt, the co-founder and chief executive officer of a new startup, Kenshō Health, hopes she can take back the narrative. “We’re the antithesis of Goop,” Berlincourt, a fintech veteran who previously led marketing and product at Simple […]

Softly, softly, catchy jelly: This ‘ultragentle’ robotic gripper collects fragile marine life

The creatures of the depths live in a very different world — one lethal to us. But our world is lethal to them as well, all sharp edges and rapid movements. If we’re to catch and learn about the soft-bodied denizens of the deep, our machines too must be soft — and that’s what this […]

How ‘ghost work’ in Silicon Valley pressures the workforce, with Mary Gray

The phrase “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” was originally meant sarcastically. It’s not actually physically possible to do — especially while wearing Allbirds and having just fallen off a Bird scooter in downtown San Francisco, but I should get to my point. This week, Ken Cuccinelli, the acting Director of the United States […]

These robo-shorts are the precursor to a true soft exoskeleton

When someone says “robotic exoskeleton,” the power loaders from Aliens are what come to mind for most people (or at least me), but the real things will be much different: softer, smarter and used for much more ordinary tasks. The latest such exo from Harvard is so low-profile you could wear it around the house. […]

Why AI needs more social workers, with Columbia University’s Desmond Patton

Sometimes it does seem the entire tech industry could use someone to talk to, like a good therapist or social worker. That might sound like an insult, but I mean it mostly earnestly: I am a chaplain who has spent 15 years talking with students, faculty, and other leaders at Harvard (and more recently MIT […]

The rise of the new crypto “mafias”

A look at nearly 200 crypto startups shows which companies have become crypto academies Ash Egan 18 hours Ash Egan Contributor Ash Egan leads crypto investing at Accomplice. He formerly was a VC at ConsenSys Ventures and Converge. In the early 2000s, journalists popularized the term “PayPal mafia” to describe the PayPal founders and employees […]

Tiny Robobee X-Wing powers its flight with light

We’ve seen Harvard’s Robobee flying robot evolve for years: After first learning to fly, it learned to swim in 2015, then to jump out of the water again in 2017 — and now it has another trick up its non-existent sleeve. The Robobee X-Wing can fly using only the power it collects from light hitting […]