Don’t Be Fooled by the Cloud

The fantasy of “the cloud” creates an obfuscation that threatens the health and future of the real, physical network. To imagine a future for the network that isn’t only blisteringly fast but also brazenly free requires knowing something of its existing structure — knowing where our internet comes from.

Cold Comforts

A look at the latest research bases housing Antarctic scientists.

Netscapes (WIRED)

The Internet surrounds us like air, saturating our offices and our homes. But it’s not confined to the ether. You can touch it. You can map it. And you can photograph it. Here are five postcards from the journey of a single bit, as data flashes from sea to wired sea.

The Bandwidth of Urban Experience (Wired UK)

When it comes to technology and cities, today’s thrilling development – “thrilling”, that is, if you like real cities and corporeal people – is that social networking is enhancing urban places.

Redesigning the Sky (WIRED)

Nearly all US flight delays can be traced to the snarl of jets over New York City. How do you squeeze more efficiency out of an archaic air traffic control system? Redesign the sky.

How-to Pack an SLR Into a Pocket Cam (Wired)

The engineers at high-end camera maker Sigma were determined to shrink it all down to something more totable. It wasn’t an easy task.

Intel Cash Register Knows Who You Are, What You Want (Wired)

Asking the question: “Do you know who I am?” is not likely to score you any points at the store, even in these trying economic times. But Intel wants to change that with a proof of concept cash register that knows not only who you are, but also what you want.

This Is a Skate Park (Wired)

For years, architects have gone to great lengths to protect their buildings from marauding skaters. But as aesthetic trends move toward folded planes that transition seamlessly from wall to ceiling and back to wall, designers have been looking to their former adversaries for a lesson in flow.

Instant Suburb: Prefabs Hits New York (Wired)

Cellophane House is five stories tall, with floor-to-ceiling windows, and translucent polycarbonate steps embedded with LEDs. Its aluminum frame was cut from off-the-shelf components in Europe, assembled in New Jersey, then snapped together in 16 days on a vacant lot next to the Museum of Modern Art — joining four other full-size houses onsite through October as part of the exhibit Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling.

Impossibly Starck (Wired)

Philippe Starck’s latest creation — a plastic chair — earned its name on the first sketch: Mr. Impossible.

Heaven for Hells Angels (Wired)

The Harley-Davidson is more than a two-wheeled miscreant-hauler; it’s one of America’s most important indigenous technologies. The 45-degree V-twin engine has remained remarkably unchanged since it was introduced in 1909. Now the Harley has its own museum, which opened on July 12 in Milwaukee, the bike’s birthplace.

Ocean Current (Wired)

Giant whirlpools, 100-knot winds, some of Europe’s mightiest tides: The icy waters off Scotland’s northern tip are no place for pleasure craft. But they’re ideal for power-generation systems that harness the restless fury of the sea.