A Viral Game About Paperclips Teaches You to Be a World-Killing AI


The idea of a paperclip-making AI didn't originate with Lantz. Most people ascribe it to Nick Bostrom, a philosopher at Oxford University and the author of the book Superintelligence. The New Yorker (owned by Condé Nast, which also owns Wired) called Bostrom "the philosopher of doomsday," because he writes and thinks deeply about what would happen if a computer got really, really smart. Not, like, "wow, Alexa can understand me when I ask it to play NPR" smart, but like really smart.

Last week in tech: Strap an Oculus to your face and head to the Microsoft treehouse

Popular Science

Everything '90s is new again, and the Tamagotchi is back for its 20th anniversary. These $25 keychains contain tiny digital "friends" that you keep alive with periodic button pushing. I had one when I was a kid, but I gave mine to a girl after the school bully threw her's out the window of a moving bus. Moving into the modern world of mindless button-pushing games, a basic, number-based paper-clip manufacturing game was all over the Web this week. The director of NYU's Game Center, Frank Lantz, designed the game to prey on people who love seeing numbers move continuously higher.

Holiday Gift Guide 2016: Presents for Every Personality Type

Forbes - Tech

As someone who covers luxury for Forbes, it is actually my job to find the best gifts and services the world has to offer. The less alluring part is sifting through thousands of emails, ads, articles and pitches each year to decide what's worthy of telling people about. For this year's gift guide I decided to pick some of 2016′s very best -- the objects and items that caught my attention and stirred all my shopping impulses. Trust me, I've seen what's out there. This is the good stuff, arranged by who it's for: Graf Lantz makes magic with unfussy materials -- Merino wool felt, leather, canvas -- in ways that elevate mere'objekts,' as they say in Swedish, to actual artistry.

Tape is here to rescue big data


Vinyl made a comeback, and now it's the turn of tape. While tape technology may have largely disappeared from our daily lives, it turns out that it's critical to the cloud. Mark Lantz runs a team at IBM's research lab in Zurich, dedicated to advancing tape technology. In 2017, Lantz's team figured out how to store 201 gigabytes of data on one square inch of tape. That means one reel of tape no bigger than your palm can store as much data as you could save on 330 laptops.

Why the World Can't Quit Dots, the Brilliantly Designed Non-Game


More than 100 million people have downloaded Dots or its sequels, Two Dots and Dots & Co. Ask them about it, and they'll probably say they aren't gamers. "For a lot of people who play our games, it's the only game on their phone," says Ondriona Monty, who just joined the company as chief marketing officer. "And they don't consider it a game." Dots is, of course, a game. But the sentiment makes sense.