It was one of the most ambitious computer product announcements in history. On April 2, 1987, at twin press conferences in New York and Miami, IBM unveiled its plans to reinvent the PC industry…
PUBLISHED: April 2, 2012
LENGTH: 6 minutes (1575 words)
That new Brazilian fertility rate is below the level at which a population replaces itself. It is lower than the two-children-per-woman fertility rate in the United States. In the largest nation in Latin America—a 191-million-person country where the Roman Catholic Church dominates, abortion is illegal (except in rare cases), and no official government policy has ever promoted birth control—family size has dropped so sharply and so insistently over the past five decades that the fertility rate graph looks like a playground slide. And it's not simply wealthy and professional women who have stopped bearing multiple children in Brazil. There's a common perception that the countryside and favelas, as Brazilians call urban slums, are still crowded with women having one baby after another—but it isn't true.
PUBLISHED: Aug. 18, 2011
LENGTH: 13 minutes (3269 words)
Jaron Lanier has become the go-to pundit for people lamenting the social changes wrought by modern technology. Last year, he published “You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto,” a provocative critique of digital technologies, including Wikipedia (which he called a triumph of “intellectual mob rule”) and social-networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, which he has described as dehumanizing and designed to encourage shallow interactions. Teen-agers, he writes, may vigilantly maintain their online reputations, but they do so “driven more by fear than by love.” In our conversation about Facebook’s face-recognition software, he added, “It’ll just create a more paranoid society with a fakey-fakey social life—much like what happened in Communist countries, where people had a fake social life that the Stasi could see, and then this underground life.”
On June 13th, a fifty-four-year-old former government employee named Thomas Drake is scheduled to appear in a courtroom in Baltimore, where he will face some of the gravest charges that can be brought against an American citizen. A former senior executive at the National Security Agency, the government’s electronic-espionage service, he is accused, in essence, of being an enemy of the state.
2011 brought ever more things to skim, sort, filter, and read, so it's no surprise that our collective Instapaper queues are overflowing. Before you mark everything as read — you're not really…