An Iraqi Artist Explains His Cyber-Masochism

Is Wafaa Bilal an artist or simply a masochistic attention whore? The Iraqi artist spent a month in a gallery last year, with a webcam and a paintball gun connected to the Internet, letting people from 136 countries shoot 65,000 paintballs at him 24 hours a day. Was this a publicity stunt? A soul-searching art… » 11/05/08 2:54pm 11/05/08 2:54pm

Are Tron Guy and Xkcd the Future of Celebrity?

If you ever watched the Star Wars Kid and Homestar Runner, or gawked at the Tron Guy and web comic Xkcd, you're changing the future of celebrity. You're building a world where Paris Hilton and Tom Cruise will be replaced by captioned pictures of cats and clever comics about algebra. At least, that was the premise of… » 4/29/08 8:20am 4/29/08 8:20am

The Victorian-Era Supercomputer And The Genius Who Created It

The London Science Museum finally completed work on the Victorian era's greatest supercomputer, the Difference Engine No. 2, 120 years after the death of inventor Charles Babbage. This five-ton machine is currently traveling across the pond to San Francisco, and will go on display in America for the first time… » 4/18/08 3:30pm 4/18/08 3:30pm

12 Ways To Prepare For The Next Great Depression

Click to viewOur economic future could be even bleaker than you expect — and last year was the moment to unleash your inner survivalist. If the financial system suffers any more crises of confidence, credit gets even tighter, and the fed falls into a liquidity trap, we could be in for several hardscrabbling dystopian… » 4/11/08 9:10am 4/11/08 9:10am

Arthur C. Clarke, Futurist and Scifi Legend, Dies

Arthur C. Clarke, author of scifi classics Rendezvous with Rama and 2001: A Space Odyssey, died today at the age of 90 in Sri Lanka. Not only did Clarke create a legend with 2001 (he worked on the film with Stanley Kubrick too), but he also predicted many of the scientific inventions of the twentieth century such as… » 3/18/08 3:20pm 3/18/08 3:20pm

I Was Programmed by Tetris to be a Better Person

At a young age, my brain was hijacked by the game of Tetris. Now it helps me navigate through life. When I was in the sixth grade, my friend Chiyo and I used to play this addictive puzzle game—developed in 1985 by a Russian engineer—for hours on end with a single 100 yen coin at an arcade in Tokyo. We probably should… » 2/08/08 9:00am 2/08/08 9:00am

A Brief History of Reality Distortion Fields, Starring Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is the first non-science fiction character to possess a reality distortion field (RDF). Apple's MacWorld 2008 conference kicks off tomorrow with a keynote from Jobs, which leaves gadget lovers and iPod fiends white-knuckled on Tuesday morning as news of the next "insanely great" thing trickles out of… » 1/14/08 11:00am 1/14/08 11:00am