A wall of security cameras in Toronto, Canada

Are Smart Cities a Wise Idea?

When Google runs a smart city, who owns the data?
A power button filled with green leaves in front of a dark background.

The 4 Questions to Ask before You Unplug

If you're concerned about the internet's effects on the world and on yourself, unplugging might not be the answer.
Los Angeles

Why Is It So Much Hotter in the City?

On a sunny day, a city can be several degrees warmer than the surrounding countryside. Could better building materials make cities absorb less heat?
A grid of people talking animatedly on their cell phones

To Save Civilization, Hang Up Your Phone

It's uniquely annoying to listen to one side of someone else's cellphone call. Our technology columnist examines why that is.
The Knightscope K5 Security Robot

Do Security Robots Signal the Death of Public Space?

A security robot targets the homeless, raising questions about whether private companies can expand their security detail to public spaces like sidewalks.