Archive for the ‘ars technica live’ Category

The U.S. government is removing scientific data from the internet

June 30th, 2017

Ars Live is filmed by Chris Schodt and produced by Jennifer Hahn. (video link)

In our latest episode of Ars Technica Live, Ars editors Annalee Newitz and Joe Mullin talked to UC Santa Cruz sociology professor Lindsey Dillon about how the Trump Administration has been removing scientific and environmental data from the Web. Lindsey is part of a group called Environmental Data Governance Initiative (EDGI), which is working on ways to rescue that data and make it available to the public.

Lindsey told us how EDGI got started in November 2016, within days of the presidential election. Its founders are scientists and academics whose main goal was to make sure that researchers and citizens would continue to have access to data about the environment. They organized data rescue events around the country, where volunteers identified vulnerable climate information on websites for several government agencies, including the EPA, DOE, and even NASA. The Internet Archive helped by creating digital records of all the at-risk pages.

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Ars Live: How to build weird things on the Internet and influence people

May 24th, 2017

Ars Live #13 was filmed by Chris Schodt and produced by Jennifer Hahn. (video link)

Our guest at Ars Technica Live this month was Norman Chan, the founder of There, he works as a producer with Adam Savage, Simone Giertz, and other maker geeks to create delightful, weird, and genuinely educational videos about how to build everything imaginable. Norm told Cyrus Farivar and me about how he made the leap from print media to video and what it’s like to be the guy whose job is to do things like visit the giant particle accelerator at CERN and the set of Alien Covenant. got started back in 2010 as a site for people who wanted non-snarky tech journalism, especially about consumer electronics. Norm said his love for video really started with a love of camera tech. After reviewing so many cameras for magazines and sharing his enthusiasm with a big audience, it seemed logical to start using those cameras to tell stories online.

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Ars Technica Live: The hardware challenge of making a quality vibrator

January 25th, 2017

Ars Technica Live 9: Filmed by Chris Schodt and produced/edited by Jennifer Hahn. (video link)

Vibrators have been such a popular gadget that nineteenth century inventors turned them into one of the first electrified devices in history. Today, they’ve become so mainstream that you can even buy them at Target. But for Ti Chang, our guest on this month’s Ars Technica Live, vibrators are an industrial design challenge.

As the VP of design at Crave, Chang is responsible for the creation and manufacturing of the most intimate device you’re likely to buy. She handles everything from CAD drawings to coordinating with engineers in San Francisco and manufacturers in China. Plus, she actually listens to users. Ars staffers Annalee Newitz and Cyrus Farivar talked to her about her fascinating career in hardware design. You can watch the video or listen to the podcast. (Yes, it’s all safe for work! We were talking about vibrators, not using them.)

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Bay Area: Join us tonight 1/18 to talk about very intimate hardware design

January 11th, 2017

Enlarge / At the Crave factory in San Francisco, Q/A tests the products’ components. (credit: Jordan Kushins)

The first 2017 episode of Ars Technica Live is tonight, January 18 at Longitude, Oakland’s very own tiki bar! Join Ars Technica editors Cyrus Farivar and Annalee Newitz as they sit down with industrial designer Ti Chang for a conversation about hardware design, crowdfunding, and how to build the perfect vibrator.

Chang is the co-founder and VP of design for Crave, a San Francisco-based company specializing in discreet and luxury sex toys. She leads the concept and design for the company’s full line of products, which has won numerous awards including Red Dot, IDEA, and Good Design.

Filmed before a live audience, each episode of Ars Technica Live is a speculative, informal conversation between Ars hosts and an invited guest. The audience, drawn from Ars Technica’s readers, is invited to join the conversation and ask questions. These aren’t soundbite setups; they are deep cuts from the frontiers of research and creativity.

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Catch up on last season’s Ars Technica Live with our podcast!

December 29th, 2016

Way back in February 2016, I had a crazy idea. Like many crazy ideas, it was partly the fault of Ars staffer Cyrus Farivar. We were hosting an Ars meetup at Longitude, a fantastic tiki bar in Oakland, California, when the event turned into an impromptu interview with Nick Farmer, the creator of the futuristic Creole language spoken by Belters in The Expanse series on Syfy. We had so much fun, I thought to myself: why don’t we do this again sometime? Cyrus was easily persuaded to join in the madness. And so Ars Technica Live was born.

On the third Wednesday of every month, we returned to Longitude to interview interesting people who work at the intersection of technology, science, and culture. We talked to law professor Elizabeth Joh about the future of surveillance, and we talked to anthropologist Krish Seetah about the history of meat eating in human culture. Computer security researcher Morgan Marquis-Boire told us about defending journalists against state hackers, and space activist Ariel Waldman explained her role on the National Academy of Sciences Human Spaceflight Committee. We recorded everything (you can see video of the 2016 season here) thanks to videographer Chris Schodt and Ars’ intrepid producer Jennifer Hahn. Ars editors Joe Mullin and Dan Goodin pitched in, too, bringing their expertise to discussions of patent reform and security. And luckily, Longitude bar owner Suzanne Long kept letting us come back. She seems to have a weak spot for nerds.

Now we’re celebrating the end of 2016 and the dawning of our 2017 season by releasing all our interviews as podcasts. If you ever subscribed to the Ars Technicast, you may have already gotten these episodes in your feed. If not, now’s the time.

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Submarines, spaceships, startups, and sci-fi—the life of Hannu Rajaniemi

August 4th, 2016

At Ars Technica Live #4, Hannu Rajaniemi talks to Annalee Newitz and Tiffany Kelly about his double life as a scientist and a science fiction writer. (video link)

Last week at Oakland’s legendary Longitude tiki bar, we filmed our fourth episode of Ars Technica Live, with special guest Hannu Rajaniemi. Born in a small town in Finland, Rajaniemi has had a fascinating career at the nexus of science, tech, and science fiction. He earned a degree in physics in Scotland and then founded a research consulting firm that worked with groups like the European Space Agency to solve what Rajaniemi called “math-related problems.” And then he got inspired by sci-fi author (and neighbor) Charles Stross to start writing fiction. In 2010, he published the first book in his critically acclaimed Quantum Thief trilogy.

Ars contributor Tiffany Kelly and I asked him about his double career in science and sci-fi. He said it all started with a Jules Verne obsession. He wanted to build a vessel like Captain Nemo’s Nautilus, so he decided to become a physicist. At the same time, he became fascinated by role-playing games and LARPing (live-action role-playing), which is treated like an art form in Finland and other Nordic countries. He told us some terrifying tales about gaming and then discussed his transition into a fiction writer and entrepreneur in Scotland. Along the way, he regaled us with stories about how his work in science and fiction have fed into each other in some surprising ways (he once got a gig because the hiring manager had read one of Rajaniemi’s novels and wanted to develop some of the sci-fi tech in the book). We asked whether there’s any science fiction that he’s excited about, and Rajaniemi said he loved the Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015 anthology, edited by John Joseph Adams and Joe Hill (he also liked Hill’s new novel, The Fireman). As for TV, he recommended that everyone watch Person of Interest, the recently concluded CBS series about the emergence of AI.

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Ars Technica Live #1: The archaeology of meat and butchery, with guest Krish Seetah

April 28th, 2016

Ars Technica Live, episode 1: Meat. (video link)

Welcome to the first episode of Ars Technica Live, a monthly series of in-depth interviews with people working at the intersections of technology, science, and culture. In this episode, your Ars hosts Annalee Newitz and Cyrus Farivar interviewed Stanford anthropologist Krish Seetah about his research on the deep history of butchery before a live audience at Longitude, a tiki bar in Oakland, California. Seetah gave us a fascinating look at how the technologies and morality of butchery have shaped humanity for millions of years—and our discussion inspired an intense debate with some of the attendees.

Butchery evolved before humans

Seetah’s first job when he was growing up in the neighborhood of Brixton in London was as a butcher’s assistant. He told us about how his many years as a butcher shaped his understanding of meat and ultimately became a major part of his interests as a scholar. He’s worked on studies that look at early humans’ relationships with animals, as well as the technologies we’ve developed from animal products like wool, and he is now working on a book-length project about the early history of butchery. He pointed out immediately that there is evidence that the ancestors of Homo sapiens were butchering animals with stone tools nearly 2.5 million years ago. That’s long before our ancestors invented fire and, indeed, long before Homo sapiens evolved some 200,000 years ago.

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