This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture

Menu

technology

May-June 2011

This45: Joyce Byrne on open-source biologist Andrew Hessel

Joyce ByrneWebsite

The Pink Army is preparing an ambitious invasion, and Andrew Hessel is its general. This is one war you can actually feel good about supporting, though: namely, the fight against breast cancer. Hessel is the founder and managing director of Pink Army Cooperative, the world’s first open-source synthetic biotechnology firm. Founded in Edmonton in 2009, […] More »
May-June 2011

This45: Clive Thompson on zero-growth economist Peter Victor

Clive ThompsonWebsite

Could you live on $14,000 a year? Could everyone in Canada? And could we live on $14,000 a year for the rest of history? That’s the sort of uncomfortable, prickly question Peter Victor likes to ask. And the way you answer might say a lot about the future of the planet. That’s because Victor is […] More »
November-December 2010

On a borderless internet, how will we nurture Canadian content?

Navneet AlangWebsite

In 1999, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission took a hard look at the then-burgeoning internet. They then did what many Canadians would consider a very un-CRTC-like thing: they decided not to regulate it. That may come as something of a surprise, as we tend to think that if the CRTC has a thing, it’s […] More »
September-October 2010

Technology, ethics, and the real meaning of the “Rapture of the Nerds”

Keith NorburyWebsite

Aging sucks, says Michael Roy Ames. At 45, he sees signs of his own mortality every time he looks in a mirror—the greying and thinning hair, the creases in his face. Ames doesn’t despair, though. He expects to see the day when scientific advances will reverse his aging process, replace his body parts as they […] More »
September-October 2010

Guerrilla Gardening video game sows digital seeds of change

Andrew WebsterWebsite

Can a gardening video game change the world for the better? In a medium that features an overwhelming focus on war-themed shoot-’em-ups, a video game about social change through gardening is a definite change of pace. And if the duo behind Guerrilla Gardening have their way, it will also inspire players to raise a trowel […] More »

Listen to This #016: Heather Leson & Brian Chick of Crisis Commons

Graham F. Scott

In this edition of Listen to This — the premiere of our second season of original interviews with Canada’s most fascinating activists, politicos, and artists! — we talk with Heather Leson and Brian Chick, two of the more senior Canadian coordinators of Crisis Commons, an international online community of people who use their technology skills to […] More »

How Canada’s new copyright law threatens to make culture criminals of us all

Graham F. Scott

Industry Minister Tony Clement’s iPod contains 10,452 songs, he told reporters on May 26, most of them transferred from CDs he bought. It’s a widespread practice generally known as “format shifting,” and in Canada, it’s illegal. The minister didn’t shamefacedly admit his crime in an embarrassing gaffe; he called a press conference and announced it […] More »
July-August 2010

Is Canada’s genetically engineered “Enviropig” headed for your plate?

Julia Prinselaar

It may be anticlimactic for those who picture transgenic animals as products of zany laboratory cut ’n pastes, but Canada’s first genetically engineered animal to be raised for food looks just like the ordinary farm pig that shares its DNA. Dubbed “Enviropig,” its creators at the University of Guelph say it’s a boon to the […] More »

U.S., U.K. move to stem "conflict minerals" in Congo, while Canada undermines reform

jesse mintz

As I type this, I am complicit in the funding of rape and war.  You probably are too–sitting on your laptop, listening to your mp3 player, texting on your smartphone–even if you don’t know it. But that could all change with the passing of Barack Obama’s sweeping financial reform legislation by Congress in July. While […] More »
July-August 2010

In Google’s spat with China, the legacy of colonialism still echoes

Navneet AlangWebsite

When Google, citing concerns over security and censorship, pulled their operations out of China in March this year, they were widely praised for taking a stand for democracy. But Google’s move wasn’t the first time a Western entity had taken the moral high road in regard to China. In fact, almost 200 years ago, the […] More »
July-August 2010

As green-collar jobs boom, Canada is mired in the tar sands

Jessica Leigh JohnstonWebsite

Canada and Abu Dhabi share one big trait: an economy addicted to oil. But while Canada doubles down on the tar sands, the emirate quietly plans a renewable energy hub in a gleaming zero-emissions city in the desert. Can either of these bets pay off? Looking out over the site of Masdar City in Abu […] More »