Tag Archives: economics

Is Progress Outpacing Precaution? Experts Weigh In

Illustration by An Arres.

No one expects the machinery of progress to roll backwards, but sometimes it seems that no one is watching the speedometer (or manning the brakes, assuming any exist).  Is this a fair assessment? If so, should we be worried — and what can we do about it?

In this feature, experts on technology, risk, science, policy and neuroscience discuss risk, innovation and how our values affect our conceptions of both.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
ASU Experts Weigh the Risks of Innovation

Behind the Scenes at a Nuclear Generating Station Refueling

Every six months, the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station southwest of Phoenix, Arizona shuts down one of its three reactors for refueling and maintenance.

Join me in this feature-length venture into the belly of the beast, from the storage casks to the open reactor itself.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:

Found in Translation: The Risks and Rewards of Video Game Localization

Video game localization has come a long way since a sub-par port of Zero Wing gave us the classic “All Your Base are Belong to Us” meme. As  game companies have gone international, and as their products have ballooned from small-batch text-and-sprite diversions to interactive blockbusters, the industry that makes those games accessible to other cultures has done its best to keep pace – despite too often being treated as an afterthought by game companies .

Find out how this process has evolved from basic text translation to fully embrace cultural norms, preferences and taboos as I explain …

How Video Game Localization Works


The Global Genetic Coronal Phosphorescent Thermohaline Economic Asteroid-Earthquake Singularity War That Will Doom Us All

“The Last Day of Pompeii” by Karl Briullov.

In the real world, disasters aren’t just a matter of scale – they’re a question of preparedness and of a society’s capacity to handle the fallout. Vaccines, rapid-response teams and early-warning systems can move the needle from calamity toward recovery, while poverty, corruption and ignorance slide it toward catastrophe. So, cue announcer: “In a world … where real disasters aren’t single events that arise from simple problems that are solvable in 93 minutes  …”

10 Possible Future Disasters

Tesla’s Powerwall: Reading the Meter

Image of Tesla Powerwall battery.
Photo by Tesla Energy.

April 2015 saw Tesla Motors’ entry into the home and industrial battery market. Thousands of pre-orders – and more than a little hype – attended the announcement, and it’s easy to see why: The promise of a cost-effective home battery, one that could make self-storage an equal or better option for solar customers than the prevailing sell-and-buyback model, could revolutionize the solar industry.

Yet some experts argue that the battery is not all it’s cracked up to be, while harsher critics accuse Tesla of using the storage cells as big green stalking horses, part of a plan to bilk taxpayers into subsidizing the company’s massive battery factory and R&D facility in Nevada. Read on as I make the connections in …

How the Tesla Powerwall Works