All posts by maxpagels

The Improbable Origins of PowerPoint

With PowerPoint as well as its predecessors, the motif of the slide was, of course, lifted directly from the world of photography. Some presentation programs actually generated 35-mm slides for display with a slide projector. In most cases, though, the early programs created slides that were printed on paper for incorporation into reports, transferred to transparencies for use on overhead projectors, or saved as digital files to be displayed on computer monitors.

Ice Fishers

Despite Kazakhstan’s modern capital, many of the country’s citizens hold on to vestiges of their nomadic ancestry. A conceptual look at this common practice.

Inside X, Google’s Moonshot Factory

X is perhaps the only enterprise on the planet where regular investigation into the absurd is not just permitted but encouraged, and even required. X has quietly looked into space elevators and cold fusion. It has tried, and abandoned, projects to design hoverboards with magnetic levitation and to make affordable fuel from seawater. It has tried—and succeeded, in varying measures—to build self-driving cars, make drones that deliver aerodynamic packages, and design contact lenses that measure glucose levels in a diabetic person’s tears.

The purpose of X is not to solve Google’s problems; thousands of people are already doing that. Nor is its mission philanthropic. Instead X exists, ultimately, to create world-changing companies that could eventually become the next Google.

The female code-breakers who were left out of history books

And thanks to papers recently declassified, it is now known that during World War Two Elizebeth helped to smash a network of Nazi spies trying to foment fascist revolutions in South America – their ultimate goal being an attack on the US. Many of these spies were arrested as a direct consequence of her and her team’s work at the US Coastguard. However, for decades J Edgar Hoover and the FBI claimed more or less all the credit for this achievement. Elizebeth, sworn to secrecy and uninterested in publicity, stayed quiet.