Profile

Cover photo
Verified name
Steven Levy
Works at Medium
Attended Temple University
Lives in New York City
1,674,886 followers|3,296,627 views
AboutPostsPhotosVideosReviews

Stream

Steven Levy

Shared publicly  - 
 
I've been following the fortunes of Pebble ever since meeting its CEO Eric Migicovsky at Y Combinator in early 2011.  A blowout Kickstarter campaign put the smart-watch company to an early lead in the wrist war but giants Apple and Google are assumed to take control.  Not so fast, says Eric, introducing a watch called Time--on Kickstarter again.  Here's the first of an occasional series on Pebble as it takes on the big guys.

https://medium.com/backchannel/time-bandit-pebble-s-new-weapon-in-its-battle-with-apple-and-android-watches-6e6f4cc6d372
The “indie” wearable company goes back to Kickstarter. Can Pebble Time claim your wrist before big competitors get there…
45
9
Davis Vicente Garcés Naranjo's profile photoPierre Savoie's profile photoMartin Cahn's profile photoClive Richards's profile photo
3 comments
 
We'll
Add a comment...

Steven Levy

Shared publicly  - 
 
Here's a tale that reads like a thriller.  The team that won a 2007 DARPA contest hoped its crowdsourcing model would win the tougher 2011 challenge--but a lone hacker fatally disrupted them.  Here's how they painstakingly recreated what happened. And for the first time we hear from the hacker. Big lessons about crowdsourcing, espionage and human nature.

https://medium.com/backchannel/how-a-lone-hacker-shredded-the-myth-of-crowdsourcing-d9d0534f1731
High-tech analysis of a 2011 DARPA Challenge suggests that far from being wise, crowds can’t be trusted
64
52
Raimo Salomaa's profile photoAliaksei Chapyzhenka's profile photoRakesh Barve's profile photoMatija Pa's profile photo
6 comments
 
It is almost as if the social sciences have something to contribute to the design of computing and information systems.  :-)
Add a comment...

Steven Levy

Shared publicly  - 
 
In its quest for a perfect News Feed, Facebook now wants to go beyond algorithms and user behavior and directly ASK users what they want to see. The first part of this project is employing 30 people in Knoxville TN, fulltime, to go through their News Feed and say what they like and don't. The study now has expanded to several hundred remote raters, and soon FB may ask everybody what they want to see. Here's my Backchannel report.


https://medium.com/backchannel/revealed-facebooks-project-to-find-out-what-people-really-want-in-their-news-feed-799dbfb2e8b1
29
5
Michael Haubenwallner's profile photoMatt Dragon's profile photo冯俊峰's profile photoPia Adibe's profile photo
5 comments
 
You think Prime time is messed up now wait til these people get into affecting it.
Add a comment...

Steven Levy

Shared publicly  - 
 
I got to do a fairly deep dive (again!) into Google Search and see how it has integrated some big changes, largely to shape the technology towards the age of mobile.

 https://medium.com/backchannel/how-google-search-dealt-with-mobile-33bc09852dc9
Behind the scenes as the Internet giant launched big initiatives to keep its flagship product viable
97
30
Jennifer Lynn's profile photoMatthias Blumenfeld's profile photoEric McCall's profile photoJoe Kulangara's profile photo
7 comments
 
What would you do if during your dives into Google, Google would not let you surface to express your discovery's?
Add a comment...
 
Is there such a thing as smartphone addiction?  I am skeptical of such stuff (thought the Internet addiction fears were overblown) but there is serious work being done in Korea by social scientists that makes an interesting case that smartphones are like a dependency-creating drug for some people.  Since Korea is where everybody else is going (despite telcoms who want to keep us in  under bandwidthed and overcharged) maybe we should listen.

https://medium.com/backchannel/what-korea-has-learned-about-smartphone-addiction-46de6185ff04
Ultra-wired Korea is way ahead in dealing with smartphone addiction. Here’s what its researchers found.
26
10
Jay Geater's profile photoEmily Turrettini's profile photo尹奕男's profile photoTyler Guthrie's profile photo
5 comments
 
I've seen Facebook addiction and phone addiction is right up there. Not only is it difficult to talk to these people but its obvious that their attention is too divided to remember anything happening around them.
Add a comment...

Steven Levy

Shared publicly  - 
 
Andrew Conrad of Google X reveals an ambitious attempt to turn the battleship of healthcare:  a nanoparticle platform for early disease detection that starts with a pill, continues with zillions of tiny nano-things looking for cancer and other bad molecules, and then warning you via sensors on a wristband.   "Will I be wearing this in 10 years?" I ask  His answer is yes.

 https://medium.com/backchannel/were-hoping-to-build-the-tricorder-12e1822e5e6a
Google X’s Andrew Conrad is developing an early disease detection system that could reinvent health care
104
65
saso badovinac's profile photoDuane Howard's profile photoMayuresh Saoji's profile photoBrandon LaDuke's profile photo
9 comments
 
Crazy...
Add a comment...
Have him in circles
1,674,886 people
Paige Smith's profile photo
raice anwor's profile photo
Nguyễn Hữu Hồ Lâm's profile photo
Dj Jones's profile photo
Mike Scorn's profile photo
barça kader's profile photo
Adam Gelnick's profile photo
mr. udin's profile photo
Ted Nairobi's profile photo

Steven Levy

Shared publicly  - 
 
We all hate data charges on our phones, right? So what if certain apps offered to cover those charges if we used them? Is this an evil back-door kind of attack on net neutrality? Or a way to avoid those burdensome fees that's good for all? Like it or not, a company with serious muscle behind it is pushing this model -- and of course you can read it in Backchannel

https://medium.com/backchannel/should-your-smart-phone-have-congestion-pricing-153b4f7b6ba9
19
5
Reva Hamilton's profile photoMeghdutt Brahmachari's profile photoChantiele C's profile photoLuis Carrillo's profile photo
7 comments
 
Ok sir
Add a comment...

Steven Levy

Shared publicly  - 
 
For a special issue of their magazine commemorating Moore's Law, the Computer History Museum asked me to write an essay.  I chose to address how the phenomenon Moore described made Google possible--and continues to make the impossible not only possible but inevitable. Those like Larry Page who feel this in their bones have a huge advantage, especially when they are able to brush off criticisms that their ideas are "crazy." 

https://medium.com/backchannel/how-moores-law-made-google-possible-93d52457c5c9
The Intel co-founder drew the blueprint for the digital revolution. Larry Page read it well.
95
48
jesusinheritance5's profile photoPer Karlsson's profile photoDiana C's profile photoColleen Decker's profile photo
7 comments
 
Very soon. Rumors say in about 15 years we will have personal computing devices that provide 1:1 sensory data to us. With more storage and speed than we can handle those awesome devices will just get smaller and cheaper. I cant wait :)
Add a comment...

Steven Levy

Shared publicly  - 
 
Some time ago, I wrote an article called Googlenomics, describing how Google makes its money.   Here's part one of a series for Backchannel called Twitternomics, largely describing how their surprisingly successful ad system works (BTW  it borrows some aspects of AdWords).  This is contrast to Twitter's struggles with user growth.

https://medium.com/backchannel/how-twitter-found-its-money-mojo-1d170e3df985
The not-so-dismal science of Twitternomics
42
7
Piotr Jaśniewicz's profile photoMo Jo's profile photo
Add a comment...

Steven Levy

Shared publicly  - 
 
Thanks for the response to my 4-part Google Search series.  I wondered which piece would get the biggest readership--so far its the Deep Learning piece below, which focused on three key figures in Google's ongoing AI push.  I also hope that readers of this series will follow Backchannel on Medium to see some of the other stuff we're doing.  

 https://medium.com/backchannel/google-search-will-be-your-next-brain-5207c26e4523
Inside Google’s massive effort in Deep Learning, which could make already-smart search into scary-smart search
114
29
Phil Kalina's profile photoCynthia Tompkins's profile photoSarah F's profile photoKing Yin Poon's profile photo
16 comments
 
Hi guyz hwzt
Add a comment...

Steven Levy

Shared publicly  - 
 
Brian Fitzpatrick thought he was a Googler for life.  Then he read an epic blog post about selling tickets for restaurants.  Now he's CTO of Tock, a company planning to do just that. Oh, and also to become the Uber of appointments.

https://medium.com/backchannel/buying-tickets-to-restaurants-114e5b9c768f
Tock is the latest company trying to disrupt the good old reservation system—for restaurants and everything else
34
7
Shaun Griffith's profile photoRalf Haring's profile photoJacob Matthews's profile photoDavid Williams's profile photo
9 comments
 
Great idea and can really help people that hate waiting when they booked a table and I like that it would cut down on no shows.  The restaurant already has the money and can now buy better for the day to ensure they don't run out or over purchase.
Add a comment...

Steven Levy

Shared publicly  - 
 
In Dublin this past weekend Tim O'Reilly told me about a great, under-told story--a brilliant programmer who got an apology from the Prime Minster for Britain's shameful treatment of Alan Turing.  In London on Tuesday, I interviewed him.   And today on Backchannel, you can read it yourself. Thanks, Tim!
 
This piece about @jgrahamc's campaign to get the UK gov to apologize to Alan Turing shows why +Steven Levy's Backchannel on Medium is so great at telling the inside story of events and people that matter in tech. 

I am delighted that I was able to turn Steven on to John Graham Cumming's story, which demonstrates how a geek with a cause can use his skills to make a big difference.
John Graham-Cumming used cunning and data to get the apology
10 comments on original post
56
19
Kumar Bobby Sookram's profile photoC. G. Abrams's profile photoMarta Nunes's profile photoDiana C's profile photo
7 comments
 
hi..
Add a comment...
People
Have him in circles
1,674,886 people
Paige Smith's profile photo
raice anwor's profile photo
Nguyễn Hữu Hồ Lâm's profile photo
Dj Jones's profile photo
Mike Scorn's profile photo
barça kader's profile photo
Adam Gelnick's profile photo
mr. udin's profile photo
Ted Nairobi's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Writer
Employment
  • Medium
    Editor in Chief, tech hub, 2014 - present
  • Wired
    Senior Writer, 2008 - 2014
  • Newsweek
    Chief Technology Correspondent, 1996 - 2008
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
New York City
Previously
Philadelphia
Links
Contributor to
Story
Tagline
Still writing after all these years
Introduction
I write about technology. I work for Wired Magazine as a senior writer; previously I was the tech writer for Newsweek. My books include Hackers, Artificial Life, Crypto, Insanely Great, and The Perfect Thing.  I have just come out with a new one, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives.  
Bragging rights
Am a question card in Trivial Pursuit. Oh, and the Washington Post called me "the premier technology journalist in America."
Education
  • Temple University
    English, 1968 - 1972
  • Pennsylvania State University
    Literature (MA), 1972 - 1974
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
stevenjayl
1 review