This is my first piece of data visualization journalism in a long time. It was fun to work with the editors and illustrator to bring it together. It’s also great to cover a topic near to my heart and the part of my family that live in Mexico City. Someday I’d like to report more on the social side of Mexico’s water situation.
Meantime, I recommend checking out the print edition of Technology Review [pdf] to see the spread but there is also an online version for subscribers.
Galileo, a global navigation satellite system that will reach more places and work more precisely than today’s GPS services, is now available for free public use. When it is complete, expected by 2020, Galileo will have taken two decades and an estimated $10 billion to build. But the system, created by the European Union, will make your phone run better and offer new possibilities for both corporate and government users.
Continue reading Europe’s New Satellite System Will Improve Your Phone
In Europe, concerns about health, taste, and origin collide in olive oil. Its high value, complex flavor, and ever-growing list of known health benefits, combined with a long history of fakes and adulteration, have made it one of three focus foods in a 12-million-euro ($13 million) European Union research project on high-tech tracking of food quality and provenance. (The other two are Scotch whisky and fish.) Paul Brereton, coördinator of the project, says that assuring food’s integrity is in some ways more complex than assuring its safety: instead of just looking for a few known toxins, fighters of food fraud must detect something harder to identify: any adulteration or substitution that might occur to a crook.
Continue reading Technologies for Food Detectives
U.S. regulators have been attempting to deal with the negative affect that a few large Internet providers might have on competition. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world, new mobile technologies have been encouraging competition.
Yesterday, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, the chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler, promoted the net neutrality rules that the FCC recently voted to adopt, and bragged that the U.S. would “continue to be the world leader” in high-tech telecommunications. The FCC’s rules would prevent Internet service providers (ISPs) from prioritizing certain content. Critics say such “fast lanes” would undermine the principles that have led to online innovation (see “FCC Chief Proposes Broader Net Neutrality Rules”). Continue reading Peer-to-Peer Wireless Is Increasing Competition Worldwide