Karen A. Frenkel

Science and Technology Writer

More Clips of Articles


My Works

Pulling the Plug on Comatose Servers
A company tackles the wasteful data center industry with a new business model.

Black Women in Tech
Five influential women and an entrepreneurial mother and daughter.

Dragging Fashion Wholesalers Into the Digital Age
B2B sites are making it more efficient for wholesale buyers to order from designers and brands, and enabling new designers to be discovered.

Jewish Literary Journal: The Chandelier
An unusual gift, an unusual heritage.

Robot Glider Detects Rogue Waves and Other Ocean Anomalies Missed by Satellites
The wave-powered sub Papa Mau not only set a record while crossing the Pacific Ocean autonomously, it also studied rogue waves and other marine phenomena invisible to eyes in the sky

The Amazing Aerial Photos Of Sandy’s Destruction That Are Helping Rebuild The Region
Flying planes high above the hurricane-damaged communities in New York and New Jersey, aerial photo company Pictometry is using these photos to give valuable information to first responders, repair crews, and homeowners

How To Email Your Family After You Die
Canadian entrepreneur Tom Jackson's new service, NowSayIt, helps you prepare for an unexpected, accidental death by recording and storing messages, videos, and more for loved ones left behind.

MrBellersNeighborhood.com and The East Hampton Star: Hurricanes in the Hamptons
Memories, triggered by Hurricane Sandy, of storms of the past, in East Hampton.

Clothing That Fights Homelessness Also Fights The One-For-One Model
Kno makes stylish clothes and wants to help the homeless, but its model is a little more complicated than simply donating every time you buy.

An Overseas Push for Video Software for Sports Teams
Startup Hudl wants coaches and athletes worldwide to be able to stream video and edit it into highlights.

Crowdsourced in the U.S.A.
Quirky.com resurrects milk crates, re-designs them, and manufactures them in Vermont.

An Educational Robotics Kit Designed To Get Girls Into Engineering
Called Hummingbird, the kit requires no soldering and programming skills. Kids ages 11 and up invent their robot with craft materials.

Strategies To Help Women Thrive in STEM Careers.
A Q & A with engineer, entrepreneur, and author Karen Purcell.

Microphones for the Stars Go Mass Market
A company that specialized in analog mics for musicians adapts to the digital consumer market.

Hey Shopaholics, This Little Birdy Will Keep An Eye On What You Are Spending
The busy personal finance tracking space has yet more company. The Birdy, a cutesy, emoticon-happy service, aims to stop you from busting your budget. But The Birdy's emailed chirps don't mean you must always be cheap.

Getting Hitched? Hosting A Conference? This DIY App For Your Big Events Takes 15 Minutes To Make
Technically it's a yapp (get it, your app?), but it still might change your life. "People want to express themselves with this new medium,” cofounder Maria Seidman says. “We’re democratizing app technology."

The Flipped Classroom: Answering Obama’s Call For Creativity In Education
At Michigan’s Clintondale High School, resources are scarce and failure rates are high. But a new initiative--watch videos of lectures at home, work on problems in class--has achieved jaw-dropping results. It’s the kind of educational innovation that could truly reshape how our children learn.

Encyclopaedia Britannica Is Dead, Long Live Encyclopaedia Britannica
The 244-year-old company announced it is ceasing print publication, but here Encyclopaedia Britannica president Jorge Cauz discusses the business' digital innovations and why its future may be more vibrant than its storied past.

Innovator: Scott R. White’s Self-Healing Circuits
The University of Illinois engineering professor creates self-healing materials, and has successfully applied the idea to electronic circuits

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SkillSurvey Helps Employers Get ’Honest’ References for Potential Hires
Meaningless job references spurred this company to create software that lets former employers anonymously respond to online questionnaires. And that's changing the recruiting business.

Echo360 Pushes ‘Lecture Capture’ Tech into Classrooms from Qatar to the U.S.
Universities are capturing faculty presentations--not just talking heads, but their Powerpoint presentations, eWhiteboard notes, and more.


How $1.25 Billion Gets Spent In A Day: "Austerity Fatigue" And High Tech
This year spending increased 22%, the largest jump on record. Ten million people bought products online, comScore says, gobbling up $1.25 billion in goods--easily beating the online sales offered on Black Friday.

CSi: Crime Scene iPhones Yield Forensic Evidence, Confusion About Data Handling
Smartphone data collection is more complicated that most law enforcement officers think.

AirDye Aims to Save Oceans of Water by Retooling Textile Mills
To combate water pollution from dyeing, Air Dye is offering a printing method that saves water.

Kirk Cameron Cuts Computers' Power Use
Surprised by the electricity usage of supercomputers, the Virginia Tech professor wrote software to cut their power consumption. Now it’s available for PC

Skype's Huge, New Security Headeaches
A team of international researchers has detected flaws in Skype that puts the privacy of hundreds of millions of users at risk, they say.

GreenDriver Uses Traffic Data to Help Cars Steer Clear of Jams
Computer-science-professor-turned-entrepreneur Matt Ginsberg created a smartphone app that uses municipal traffic light data, GPS, and smartphones to trump snarled roads.

Phononic Devices’s Chips Convert Waste Heat into Electricity
A thermoelectric semiconductor will convert waste heat into electricity, or channel it towards refrigeration.

As Doctors Limit Access, Pharma Taps Viscira for Simulations
Pressed for time, doctors are increasingly less amenable to face-to-face meetings with pharma reps. And academic institutions and the hospitals and medical practices they own have polices restricting access. San Francisco comany Viscira has found a niche with biomedical computer animations and other ways of communicating about medications to tech-savvy MDs.

Tech from Plextronics Could Replace Lightbulbs, ’Do Away With iPads’
A new polymer, an ink, that could advance printable electronics so that you fold your plastic magazine and carry it in your pocket. And it may revolutionize lighting so that you paint light onto your wall.

MrBellersNeighborhood.com: Half-Blind Faith
What I lost and found then and now.

Kids Panning for the Environment
High school students around the world are using a robotic, digital camera to shoot panoramics of the environment. Then they zoom in on digital images, explore details, and chat with their peers about how to safeguard the planet.





Panning for Science
A new technology for creating and viewing stunningly high-resolution panoramic images is becoming a power research tool.

The Wisdom of the Hive
Jaron Lanier rails against the social trends being fostered by the Internet--in particular its power to stifle creativity and grant anonymity as well as encourage groupthink and a lynch-mob mentality.

Therapists Use Virtual Worlds to Address Real Problems
Virtual worlds serve as icebreakers for troubled teens reluctant to interact with therapists. In these online environments, which they are accustomed to playing in, they practice ways to cope and engage faster than with face-to-face role-play.

How Do Neurons Communicate?
How do vesicles, which carry neurotransmitters, release their cargo? And how quickly can these carriers reconstitute themselves for the next round?

Silicon Smackdown
A New Algorithim Could Soon Vanquish Go Pros

Your Brain on 9/11
Adults who witnessed the attacks close-up have subtle changes in their brains four years afterwards. Their amygdalae, the center of the brain responsible for certain types of memory, are hyperactive. Children orphaned that day pump out above-normal amounts of cortisol, a symptom of stress.

CyberTimes Toy Story: Origin of a Species
CyberTimes: The New York Times on the Web January 15, 1996)

John Lasseter was a new Disney animator back in 1981 when two friends working on “Tron,” the first feature-length movie to employ computer animation, showed him dailies of a sequence in which motor cycles zoomed around a video game inside a computer. Lasseter was dazzled.

Abandoned Shopping Carts - NYT and International Herald Tribune
Suppose you manage a mall where visitors merely window-shop and rarely enter stores to make purchases. If your merchants can't survive, you lose, too. That is the phenomenon plaguing many Web retailers and portals today.

Book Review/Essay Scientific American
Why Aren't More Women Physicists?

A biography of an 18th century Marquise and profiles of 20th century female physicists examine how they pursued their talents.

Computers in Court
Technology Review, April 1982

With some 12,000 computers humming away in various government branches in 1976, Abraham Ribicoff, then a U.S. Senator from Connecticut, sensed a tempting target for data defrauders and instituted an investigation into federal computer security.



Selected Works

Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg Businessweek, Businessweek.com
A company tackles the wasteful data center industry with a new business model.
The fashion industry goes tech in order to step up efficiency when it comes to ordering threads.
Hudl's software lets coaches edit athletes' plays and use them for training. But the company must psych out coaches from different cultures to learn how they train to win.
New-fangled milk crates designed for college students, with the incite of the crowd and made in the U.S.A.
Blue Microphones has expanded its reach, making mics for iPhones, iPods, and iPADs and any other USB device.
The University of Illinois engineering professor creates self-healing materials, and has successfully applied the idea to electronic circuits
Automating recruiting with anonymous job references
A textile company aims for sustainability.
Saving power for supercomputers, laptops, and now data centers.
A new smartphone app that suggests routes to drivers, saving them time and fuel.
"Our fundamental advance allows us to deliver devices that can provide cooling for refrigeration or waste heat recovery and efficiently convert it into power," says Phononic Devices Chief Executive Officer Anthony Atti.
Pressed for time, doctors are less and less amenable to face-to-face meetings with pharma reps. Viscira's biomedical computer animation reach tech-savvy MDs.
Tech from Plextronics Could Replace Lightbulbs, ’Do Away With iPads’
Essence Magazine
Influential Black women in tech and an entrepreneurial mother-daughter pair.
Creative Non-Fiction
An unusual gift, an unusual heritage
Memories, triggered by Hurricane Sandy, of storms of the past.
A true short story from and to Manhattan's Upper West Side.
ScientificAmerican.com
Is the Web a Threat to Creativity and Cultural values? One Cyber Pioneer Thinks So.
Troubled teens benefit from role-play in virtual worlds with their therapists.
FastCompany.com
Special imaging technology shows the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy.
Posthumous emails, videos, and animations.
KNO goes up against TOMS, asking to buy more, give more.
Kids use the kit, called Hummingbird, to build whatever they imagine.
Engineer and entrepreneur Karen Purcell highlights some of strategies for women in STEM in her book, Unlock Your Brilliance.
Email reminders help people keep track of their spending.
At-risk students thrive with a new style of learning.
An Interview with Encyclopaedia Britannica President Jorge Cauz.
The Murray/Jackson trial showcases iPhone forensics, experts comment on the state of the art.
Researchers find privacy breeches possible.
Interview
A 1989 interview with the late, titanic visionary while he was CEO of NeXT,Inc., in which he discusses the Mach OS, robotic manufacturing, mentoring employees, digital Shakespeare and Webster's...
U. S. News and World Report and InsideScience.org
Robotic camera technology inspires virtual exploration by students around the world.
Science Magazine and Science NOW
Scientists shoot gigapixel panoramas to make discoveries
Blogs
The First Conference on Computational Sustainability
Scientific American MIND
Scientists debate how synapses work
Scientific American
A New Algorithim Could Soon Vanquish Go Pros
The Village Voice
Three neurological studies reveal that traumatic memories of those near the site and bereaved children affect functioning of parts of their brains.
The New York Times
The making of the first fully computer-generated cartoon feature film.
Why online shoppers abandon their shopping carts.
Book Reviews
Two books look for answers in the lives of a few who succeeded.
Other Magazines
Technology Review
Book
Communications of the ACM