All posts by maxpagels

The Banal Horror of Arkansas’s Executions

Jones’s and Williams’s executions were the second and third in a four-day period; at the same facility, on the preceding Thursday, Ledell Lee, aged fifty-one, became the first prisoner to be put to death in Arkansas since 2005.

Meet the People Who Train the Robots (to Do Their Own Jobs)

We spoke with five people — a travel agent, a robotics expert, an engineer, a customer-service representative and a scriptwriter, of sorts — who have been put in this remarkable position. More than most, they understand the strengths (and weaknesses) of artificial intelligence and how the technology is changing the nature of work.

Worth a read.

During World War II, a Douglas Dakota of BOAC is silhouetted at Gibraltar by the batteries of searchlights on the Rock, as crews prepare it for a night flight to the United Kingdom (Wikimedia Commons).

Q&A: Design lessons learned from a decade at Nintendo’s EAD

Like the great warlord Oda Nobunaga, Yamauchi wanted his vassals to compete with each other. Nintendo once had three hardware development departments plus EAD. Each of these three departments had its own game development team, and Yamauchi made the leaders of these departments compete with each other. This resulted in successes like the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy, but the departments never shared information with each other.

A fascinating look behind the scenes.