Noelle Swan

Technology reporting

Print features

Maker coverThe ‘maker movement’ creates D.I.Y. revolution

How the ‘maker movement’ got a Kansas boy a new hand

Meet Baxter, your new robotic co-worker

How robots have widened the world of one man unable to move


Web stories

NASA developing cure for Mars rover ‘amnesia’

December 31, 2014 – The 10-year-old Martian rover Opportunity is starting to show its age. NASA software engineers are scrambling to create software hack to solve Opportunity’s memory problems, in the latest example of the space agency extending the life of its projects.

Do Microsoft CEO Nadella’s comments on women represent Silicon Valley culture?

October 10, 2014 – Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told a conference full of women that not asking for a raise is one of women’s ‘superpowers’ and helps to develop ‘good karma.’ Is this evidence that one of the most forward thinking industries is still largely an old boys club?

What will NASA’s $6.8 billion space taxi contracts really buy?

September 17, 2014 – The Boeing Company and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. will soon be ferrying NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. The private contractors will lend the space agency much more than a lift.

Nude celebrity photo hack: How safe is your data in cloud storage?

September 2, 2014 – Nude photos of dozens of celebrities, presumably stolen from cloud storage services, started appearing online Sunday night. Here’s how the rest of us can keep personal data safe.

Google’s latest project: mapping small gas leaks in US cities

July 16, 2014 – In a joint project, Google Street View cars sniffed out minor gas leaks in Boston, Staten Island, and Indianapolis. While the leaks don’t represent a safety threat, they add up to a large volume of greenhouse gas emissions.

High-tech firefighting: what’s hot now, what’s on drawing board

June 16, 2014  – Every year wildfires scorch millions of acres of land in the United States and cost the nation billions of dollars. We still know little about how wildland fires spread, and they can take weeks to bring under control. Here’s a look at seven cutting-edge technologies that are helping to fill in the gaps in firefighting capability.

US Marshals Service to auction ‘Silk Road’ bitcoin valued at $17 million

June 13, 2014 – The massive US public auction of bitcoins – a first for the US government – had little effect on the price of bitcoin, which plunged after China’s central bank refused to recognize the virtual online currency in December.

NASA to test ‘flying saucer’ designed to prevent crash landings … on Mars

June 2, 2014 – NASA is poised to test an inflatable flying saucer that would be used to help land a heavy cargo bay – needed to support human explorers – on Mars. The aim is to create drag as a spacecraft enters Mars’ atmosphere.

We want flying cars, not creepy robots that take care of grandma, study says

April 17, 2014 – A new poll looks at what excites Americans about potential sci-fi technologies and what freaks them out. New gadgets are cool, but when they stray into biological realms, people start worrying.

International bust targets BlackShades malware. Is your computer safe now?

May 19, 2014 – The BlackShades ‘RAT’ made taking over a computer so easy ‘even a caveman could do it,’ says FBI investigator. Ninety-seven people in 16 countries have been arrested in the cyber-crime crackdown.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: US Navy deploys deep sea drone to aid search

March 29, 2014 – The US Navy is deploying advanced deep-sea search technology, including anti-submarine aircraft, floating black box locators, and a robot submarine, to look for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

I am not Bitcoin’s founder: Man denies Newsweek claim

March 17, 2014 – Newsweek magazine returned to print this month with a cover story identifying Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto of Temple City, Calif., as the founder of Bitcoin. Mr. Nakamoto now has a lawyer for the matter.

MtGox bankruptcy: Bitcoin insiders saw problems with the exchange for months

February 28, 2014 – MtGox filed for bankruptcy Friday and said 850,000 bitcoins are missing as a result of a hack. Other exchanges have managed to withstand the same vulnerability, Bitcoin insiders say.

Why does Homeland Security want a database of license plates?

February 19, 2015 – The Department of Homeland Security wants a federal database of license plates, to help it track ‘criminal’ illegal immigrants. Civil libertarians caution against indiscriminate tracking of people who’ve done nothing wrong.

Does collapse of MtGox spell the end for Bitcoin?

February 25, 2014MtGox, the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange, went offline Tuesday amid reports that it lost track of 740,000 of customers’ bitcoins. As risks of the digital currency become more apparent, other Bitcoin operators try to reassure investors.

Ready to invest in Bitcoin? Test your knowledge with our quiz.

January 17, 2014 – Bitcoin has come a long way since first hitting the scene in 2009. Initially dismissed as a passing fad by the financial industry, the digital currency now boasts a number of high-profile investors, and is even accepted at major retailers like Test your readiness for the Bitcoin revolution.

Bitcoin value – and reputation – plunges after China balks

December 18, 2013 – Bitcoin falls nearly 40 percent in value after Chinese Bitcoin exchange freezes deposits. Refusal by China’s central bank to recognize the electronic currency calls into question whether Bitcoins are viable for international transactions.


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