"I've got a code," said the desperate voice on the telephone. "Can you break it?" Andy Clark is used to getting panicky calls like this one. Clark is a director of Inforenz, a leading computer forensics investigation company based in Surrey, England, that helps companies and law enforcement agencies recover stubbornly encrypted data. He's also something of a magnet for unusual cases that go beyond digging up proof of embezzlement or leaked trade secrets. "We're at the bottom of the food chain," Clark says. "When everyone else has run out of steam, they come to us." The steamless caller on the phone was Mark Dawson, son of actress Diana Dors, the famous 1950s British blonde bombshell. Just before her death in 1984, Dors had given her son a written code containing the location of her £2 million fortune (approximately US $3.5 million); she said her third husband, Alan Lake, had the key. Before Dawson could contact Lake, however, Lake committed suicide--and the code remained a jumble … [Read more...] about Codebuster
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There are two ways to tell the tale of one Sarah K. Dye, who lived through the Union Army's siege of Atlanta in the summer of 1864. One is to set up a plaque that narrates how she lost her infant son to disease and carried his body through Union lines during an artillery exchange, to reach Oakland Cemetery and bury him there. The other is to show her doing it. You'd be in the cemetery, just as it is today, but it would be overlaid with the sounds and sights of long ago. A headset as comfortable and fashionable as sunglasses would use tiny lasers to paint high-definition images on your retina--virtual images that would blend seamlessly with those from your surroundings. If you timed things perfectly by coming at twilight, you'd see flashes from the Union artillery on the horizon and a moment later hear shells flying overhead. Dye's shadowy figure would steal across the cemetery in perfect alignment with the ground, because the headset's differential GPS, combined with inertial and … [Read more...] about Is It Live or Is It AR?
The sun struggles to shine over the Charles River locks, where the river feeds into Boston Harbor. For fifty years, the Central Artery-a hulking, elevated stretch of Interstate 93-cast a shadow over the area. Neighborhoods were razed to make way for the green-painted steel and concrete mammoth when its construction began in 1951. It cut Boston and Charlestown off from their waterfronts, drove businesses away, and could not even handle the traffic it was designed for. Fred Salvucci ‘61, SM ‘62, stands at the water’s edge and watches demolition crews dismantle the old highway. It’s been more than 30 years since he started lobbying to put the highway underground, and nearly 14 years since he served as state secretary of transportation. Now, as the final stages of Boston’s Big Dig reunite the city with its waterfront, Salvucci sees an old wound starting to heal. Salvucci believed that spending the city’s money on the Central Artery-dubbed … [Read more...] about The Man Behind the Big Dig
All hail the TR100! These 100 brilliant young innovators-all under 35 as of Jan. 1, 2002-are visitors from the future, living among us here and now. Their innovations will have a deep impact on how we live, work and think in the century to come. This is the second time Technology Review has picked such a group. The first was in 1999, our magazine’s centennial year. That was a wonderful experience, but we’ve learned a lot in the last three years, and we think this installment is even more exciting than the first.For one thing, we’ve chosen a special theme for this version of the TR100: transforming existing industries and creating new ones. We looked for technology’s impact on the real economy, as opposed to the now moribund “new economy.” The major hot spots where we think a fundamental transformation is in progress include information technology, biotechnology and medicine, nanotechnology and materials, energy, and transportation. The bulk of the … [Read more...] about 2002 TR100