Soon you'll be backing up your hard drive using DNA

Think the memory card in your camera is high-capacity? It's got nothing on DNA. With data accumulating at a faster rate now than any other point in human history, scientists and engineers are looking to genetic code as a form of next-generation digital information storage. » 8/16/12 11:45am 8/16/12 11:45am

Do eternally optimistic people just have malfunctioning frontal lobes?

From an evolutionary perspective, excessive optimism is generally a bad idea. After all, if you're constantly assuming good things will happen, you'll probably be ill-prepared when bad things inevitably come along. Now scientists have an explanation...which isn't exactly flattering to the eternally optimistic. » 10/10/11 11:40am 10/10/11 11:40am

Will the internet become a new archaeological record?

The internet preserves unimaginable amounts of data, including huge amounts of minutiae describing people's everyday lives. So here's the question: is this information worth saving for future generations to study, or is this the sort of data that's best forgotten? » 5/02/11 2:25pm 5/02/11 2:25pm

Digital Dark Age Could Destroy Our Cultural Record

You may be an internet celebrity today, but in 50 years nobody will remember you — not because your star faded, but because literally nobody can watch your YouTube vids. If you’ve ever lost all your digital photos in a computer crash or struggled to open a docx file in Windows 2004, you know that digital media isn’t… » 10/28/08 4:35pm 10/28/08 4:35pm

Turn the American Presidential Debates into Abstract Data Structures

You can watch the American presidential debates and allow Barack Obama and John McCain to move you emotionally, or you can convert what they say into easily-analyzed data structures. C-SPAN's awesomely wonky graphic designers have created several easy ways for you to analyze as objectively as possible which candidate… » 10/09/08 7:00am 10/09/08 7:00am