The Ubiquitous Camera

Technology has transformed photos from treasured keepsakes to personal propaganda

2 min read
The Ubiquitous Camera
Illustration: Greg Mably

For much of the last century, cameras remained fundamentally the same. A good camera was a lifetime investment. Who would have guessed that in the space of a few years Kodak would go into bankruptcy and that the most frequently used camera in the world would be manufactured by a company that makes phones?

Now camera technology is in the midst of dramatic change. There is continuous improvement in sensors and in the capabilities of software algorithms for computational photography. We even have the first light-field cameras, which allow post-capture changes in focus and in point of view. However, it is still the little smartphone camera, when combined with the sharing power of the Internet, that’s driving the big changes in how we use and regard photography today.

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How Nanotech Can Foil Counterfeiters

These tiny mechanical ID tags are unclonable, cheap, and invisible

10 min read
University of Florida

What's the largest criminal enterprise in the world? Narcotics? Gambling? Human trafficking?

Nope. The biggest racket is the production and trade of counterfeit goods, which is expected to exceed US $1 trillion next year. You've probably suffered from it more than once yourself, purchasing on Amazon or eBay what you thought was a brand-name item only to discover that it was an inferior-quality counterfeit.

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