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January 27th, 2014
10:36 PM ET

She made the Macintosh smile

happymac

Anyone with an older Mac probably knows this icon: A boxy all-in-one computer with a simple smiling face on screen.

Like all good symbols, the Happy Mac serves multiple purposes. The official reason it exists is to tell you that your Macintosh has begun the process of booting up without error.

More than that, the Happy Mac was a symbol of intent from Apple: This computer is friendly. It doesn't have an impenetrable interface filled with text you don't understand. The Mac has pictures. And it's smiling at you!

Susan Kare was the graphic designer who created the Happy Mac. She spoke to us about the process behind that and many of the other icons that made the original Macintosh so different to any computer before it.

FULL POST

January 21st, 2014
07:59 AM ET

Sachs on China’s sustainable development

With our planet under pressure from human activity and ecological constraints, noted author and economist Jeffrey Sachs says we have entered - by necessity - "The Age of Sustainable Development."

"We can't just focus on economics alone," says Sachs. "We need to focus on economics, social inclusion... and on environmental sustainability."

Sachs recognizes China's success in ending extreme poverty over the last three decades. And he commends the country for bringing big investment to Africa.

But China has a huge challenge ahead if it wishes to develop sustainably.

"It's done great on economics but on the environment? This is the next challenge," he says.

"China is a coal-based economy and coal is a huge problem for air pollution and carbon dioxide that changes the climate."

Because in the end, prosperity alone isn't enough for the people of China.

"They want happiness and well-being, and that means you can breathe the air and know you have the chance if you are poor that your child can get ahead," says Sachs.

Click on the video above to hear more about the balance that China and the world must strike to achieve sustainable development in the 21st century.

January 1st, 2014
11:21 AM ET

Looking back at 2013

News Stream usually brings you stories about the power of technology to improve our lives. But in 2013, the top tech story was more ominous.

Since June, revelations about the U.S. National Security Agency's surveillance programs have come to light. The fallout has been felt in Washington and the rest of the world.

Tech companies have expressed outrage over the U.S. government's spying practices. Listen to Google's chairman Eric Schmidt in Part 1 (above).

In Part 2, hear from Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales and examine the new generation of gaming consoles.

Finally in Part 3, astronaut Chris Hadfield speaks about his popular videos from space. And we ask what the future holds for mobile technology.

We hope you enjoy these highlights from 2013. We look forward to the year ahead!


Filed under: Gadgets • Games • Mobile World Congress • Technology • Titans of Tech • Viral Videos
December 26th, 2013
12:14 PM ET

Don't discount China's space prowess

Earlier this week on News Stream, I had the pleasure to talk with former NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao.

I was particularly riveted by his comments on China's space program.

China's first moon rover is still exploring the lunar surface, capping off a big year for China's space program.

Many pundits have pointed out that China is now doing what the United States already accomplished some 50 years ago. So how truly impressive are China's space achievements?

"I heard that argument a lot and frankly I think it's short-sighted," Chiao tells me.

"Sure we went back to the moon over 45 years ago, but the fact is we can't do it today."

Chiao goes on to say: "China's tech sophistication is very impressive to me. I've been over to see their space center and their space hardware. What they're lacking is operational experience."

"But they'll get there."

Click on to hear more of Chiao's thoughts on China's space program, and why he's calling for NASA to cooperate with the new space giant.

December 13th, 2013
08:05 AM ET

Cutting through China's haze

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency head Gina McCarthy touched down in Hong Kong Thursday, only to be met by a thick layer of smog that has been choking the city.

McCarthy tells me 50% of Hong Kong’s haze stems from maritime pollution.

Her stop in Hong Kong comes after visits to both Shanghai and Beijing to discuss U.S.-China cooperation on air quality and other environmental issues.

Click on to hear the EPA Administrator cut through the haze of China's pollution crisis - addressing everything from air monitoring to emission standards... and why managing pollution in China is in the interest of the United States.

November 12th, 2013
03:10 PM ET

Philippine family fought to survive storm

Cristina Gonzales Romualdez says she didn't expect that much water.

She's a city councillor in Tacloban, which took a direct hit from Typhoon Haiyan. She's also the wife of mayor Alfred Romualdez.

But more importantly, on the day of storm, she's a mother of two.

Gonzales Romualdez says she and her daughters swam to safety. She told Kristie Lu Stout that she prayed the entire time, and fought to keep calm for her children.

Watch the video for her dramatic account how it all happened.

Post by: ,
Filed under: Weather
November 4th, 2013
09:20 PM ET

The NSA fury of Google’s Eric Schmidt

The Google Chairman is one angry dude.

Eric Schmidt expressed clear outrage during our interview here in Hong Kong about the revelation that the National Security Agency had spied on the company’s data links.

"I was shocked that the NSA would do this,” Schmidt tells me. “Perhaps it’s a violation of law, but it is certainly a violation of mission.”

FULL POST

November 4th, 2013
09:02 AM ET

@Cmdr_Hadfield speaks to News Stream

He’s flown three space missions, conducted two space walks, and humanized space with dozens of epic viral videos.

Here's our interview with the truly inspiring astronaut and author, Chris Hadfield.

November 1st, 2013
05:47 AM ET

Delving into the Deep Web

Earlier this month, U.S. authorities shut down the Silk Road after its alleged operator, Ross Ulbricht, was arrested.

The Silk Road was a very successful online marketplace where people bought and sold illegal goods - from drugs to forged documents, firearms to exotic animals - without getting caught.

Why?

It existed in a hidden corner of the Internet called the "Deep Web."

But who built the Deep Web and why?

Click on. The answer will surprise you…

October 10th, 2013
09:11 AM ET

What happened to Lavabit?

Why did the secure e-mail service Lavabit suddenly shut down in August?

It was widely believed that the U.S. government wanted access to the Lavabit account of NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Lavabit's owner, Ladar Levison, posted a message blaming a secret U.S. court battle. He also vowed to keep fighting while adding this warning:

"This experience has taught me one very important lesson: without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I would _strongly_ recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States."

Last week, some court documents were unsealed and made public. A review of the files on NewYorker.com says, "These disclosures fall short of the ideal of open justice, but they do give Levison’s ordeal a public shape."

Regular News Stream contributor Nicholas Thompson edited the New Yorker piece. I spoke to him about what the documents reveal.

He tells me, "What we are seeing from these court documents is that most e-mail providers - when the FBI came to them during the NSA (episode) – said, 'Here it is.'"

"But here's the one guy who said, 'No. I'm going to fight you tooth and nail, no matter what way I can.'"

Listen on to learn how Levison resisted U.S. government demands to turn over the Lavabit encryption key (including the use of an 11-page printout in 4-point type) and what the aggressive pursuit of Lavabit reveals about the psyche in Washington.

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