TheEllenBlog

Moondust Could Cloud Our Lunar Ambitions

In the public imagination, the American astronauts who landed on the moon five decades ago were square-jawed superhumans, not the types to worry about something as banal as housekeeping. But they did, obsessively. Each time they got back to the Apollo Lunar Module after a moonwalk, they were shocked at how much dust they’d tracked Read more about Moondust Could Cloud Our Lunar Ambitions[…]

Inside the Hybrid Digital-Analog Lives of Children

Kids today are voracious technology consumers for sure, but they are also active participants—creators, collaborators, and even influencers. So parents have much more to wrestle with than some broad-brush notion of “screen time.” Whatever you think of Fortnite, when children play it they are working together as a team (that’s good!), in a tech-mediated environment Read more about Inside the Hybrid Digital-Analog Lives of Children[…]

Facial Recognition Has Already Reached Its Breaking Point

As facial recognition technologies have evolved from fledgling projects into powerful software platforms, researchers and civil liberties advocates have been issuing warnings about the potential for privacy erosions. Those mounting fears came to a head Wednesday in Congress. Alarms over facial recognition had already gained urgency in recent years, as studies have shown that the Read more about Facial Recognition Has Already Reached Its Breaking Point[…]

Chris Hughes Is Right: We Should Dismantle Facebook

The opening to Chris Hughes’ much-publicized New York Times essay yesterday—attacking the company that made him vastly wealthy—was almost Shakespearean in its drama. After describing his last personal meeting with the Zuckerbergs—in their house, sharing a hug in parting with Mark’s wife, Priscilla—he lays out in 6,000-word detail how the empire Mark Zuckerberg built should Read more about Chris Hughes Is Right: We Should Dismantle Facebook[…]

What the College Scandal Shallowfakes Reveal About the Rich

Photoshop played an outsize role in the odious college admissions scandal that broke earlier this year. Rick Singer, the concierge to the stars who pleaded guilty in March to money laundering and racketeering in a scheme to get rich children into luxury-brand colleges, used the software to graft the heads of teens onto the muscled Read more about What the College Scandal Shallowfakes Reveal About the Rich[…]

Space Photos of the Week: The Shrinky, Wrinkly, Seismic Moon

To keep our personal and mortal concerns about aging in perspective, it helps to know we’re not alone. Turns out that the moon also shrinks and wrinkles as it gets older, just like the rest of us. A new paper published this week reveals that there’s more going on with the moon, seismically speaking, than Read more about Space Photos of the Week: The Shrinky, Wrinkly, Seismic Moon[…]

A Stunning Quest to Photograph Australia's 10 Deserts

The Simpson Desert stretches 68,000 miles across central Australia, but it looks as surreal as anything on Mars. There are more than 1,100 parallel sand dunes, each a wind-sculpted ridge of quartz grains coated in iron oxide, which rusts over time, producing awesome red vistas that aerial surveyor Cecil Thomas Madigan noted, in 1946, "responded Read more about A Stunning Quest to Photograph Australia's 10 Deserts[…]

A Rocket Built by Students Reached Space for the First Time

In the early morning of April 21, 10 students from the University of Southern California’s Rocket Propulsion Lab piled into the back of a pickup truck with a 13-foot rocket wedged between them and drove down a dusty dirt road to a launchpad near Spaceport America, in southern New Mexico. When they arrived, their teammates Read more about A Rocket Built by Students Reached Space for the First Time[…]

The Pentagon Launched Another Space Agency. Do We Need It?

You can almost hear the gleam in Fred Kennedy’s eyes when he talks about the Space Development Agency, a new US Department of Defense organization. The agency's new director, Kennedy uses words like agile and innovative. He makes statements such as, "We’re going to break a little glass and be a little provocative." Not the Read more about The Pentagon Launched Another Space Agency. Do We Need It?[…]