Book Review: Tough Without a Gun: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of Humphrey Bogart

Written by Mark Peikert on . Posted in Arts & Film, Books, NY Press Exclusive

Tough_Without_a_Gun At a time when celebrity biographies are frequently clocking in above the 500-page mark (Peter Biskind’s Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America, ended at 627 pages—and that’s skipping Beatty’s pre-fame years), Stefan Kanfer’s 304-page Tough Without a Gun: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of Humphrey Bogart is a relief. As lean and succinct as a [&hellip
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Cyber-Smoke: The Emergence of the E-Cigarette as an Alternative

Written by Ashna Ali on . Posted in Posts, Technology

This week's cover story addresses the skyrocketing price of cigarettes in New York and some of the ways people are coping. The hideous and disturbing anti-smoking commercials and billboards, together with the indoor smoking ban has sent smokers running for a variety of smoking alternatives, both to side-step legislation and make somewhat healthier choices.

Necessity, as the saying goes, is the mother of invention, and once again technology now offers options that were unthinkable as recently as a decade ago. Mechatronics, the combination of mechanical, electronic and software engineering has produced an advanced hybrid system: the electronic cigarette, aka the e-cig. An international subculture has emerged around e-cigs, though patents are still pending worldwide for the products, are produced and distributed primarily from China. Sidestepping cigarettes by pursuing international loopholes through the Internet, most e-cigs are bought online, breeding wealth of online forums where users compare products and share tips on cleaning, tricks and troubleshooting...

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Too Cuil: Ex-Google employees launch new search engine today

Written by Ben Lasman on . Posted in Posts, Technology

Google’s web-hegemony has become so unquestionable at this point, that any attempt to topple it comes off not as merely futile, but as a kind of Brechtian joke. The successors to the search-engine standard line up, boast revolutionary features and vamped-up security. They have vague, inviting names like ChaCha and the Jeeves-less Ask.com. And yet, it’s all tech-nerd theater. Nothing changes, nobody cares. In a best-case-scenario, most people will simply search Google for the details on its own ostensible competition.
A new model named Cuil (and pronounced, unexpectedly, “cool”) goes online today. Engineered by former Google employees as reported by HuffPost , the engine boasts access to a larger pool of websites (120 billion) than its rival, and can organize search results graphically by category...

continue reading "cuil" here.
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Is Japan Making Superpeople?

Written by Ashna Ali on . Posted in Posts, Technology

We live in the age of superheroes and tech-obsession, with comic-book inspired flicks hitting the box office back to back. Today, we've gone much further than the Batmobile with funky controls. In the tradition of The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, whose bodies were miraculously healed and enhanced into super-human machines after their near-fatal accidents, Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man made headlines as Howard Stark of Stark Enterprises, the genius inventor who aims to save the world wearing a suit of power armor with a glowing heart after a traumatic incident that left him in need of a heart transplant.

A seemingly bottomless bank account and the brains to be rated one of the top 10 most intelligent fictional characters in American comics by Businessweek make all this seamlessly possible, but root such stories firmly in the world of fantasy. With our growing technological capacities however, our fascination and excitement over superhuman capacity may be quickly crossing the line from fiction into fact.

One may look no further than Japan to see the shocking materialization of what may be our lofty scientific ambitions—or our worst fears. For some time, highly unlikely—but nonetheless interesting—inventions like the terrorizing Land Walker robot in 2006 were the only significant developments we heard of. Since then the Japanese government has put pressure on companies to make robotics a primary focus of development, resulting in the Honda Motor Company’s demonstration late last year of the Asimo Bots...

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Test Message

Written by Kari Milchman on . Posted in Posts, Technology

Remember how after the Virginia Tech massacre there was all this talk about whether the carnage could have been avoided with massive text messaging? And remember how school officials thought texting 25,000-plus students would have been a bit too difficult? Well here’s a lofty undertaking: city officials say they will soon begin testing a new [&hellip
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Towns On Bridging The Digital Divide

Written by John DeSio on . Posted in Posts, Technology

Brooklyn Congressman Ed Towns (pictured) is hailing the passage of the "Minority Serving Institution Digital and Wireless Technology Opportunity Act of 2007," a pet project of his that will establish a new grant program within the U.S. Department of Commerce providing up to $250 million for 2008 and any sums necessary for Fiscal-Years 2009 through [&hellip
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