Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books dealing with the subject of technology that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.
Chris Hadfield on the view from above and his fear of heights
by Charlie Gillis, Macleans
Back on Earth after his five-month stay on the International Space Station, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has written a book and sat down for this wide-ranging interview (and appropriately adventurous cover shoot) with Macleans in advance of its publication. In it, Hadfield discusses the life of a retired astronaut, his affinity for Russia, his own plans for the future and his somewhat surprising fear of heights. For more, see the lengthy excerpt from Hadfield's An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth that Macleans has also published, in which he recounts a crisis that arose just two days before he was set to leave the ISS.
An army of robot baristas could mean the end of Starbucks as we know it
Are baristas the next in line to be replaced by robots? As Christopher Mims explains in this piece for Quartz, at least some could be, with the fully robotic, Yves Béhar-designed Briggo coffee kiosk promising a perfect brew every time with less waiting -- and no human interaction.
Checking in on North America's first video game college, 25 years later
Anyone who's considered a career in video game development will no doubt be familiar with the name Digipen, the video game college that gained a degree of fame in the pages of Nintendo Power, and has more recently become known for producing the creators of Portal.
The road to wrist-wearable electronics from radio to computer
A look at the earliest origins of the smartwatch, this piece from Alexander Magoun traces wrist-worn radios back even before their famous appearance in Dick Tracy, while also looking at their evolution since -- including some less-than-practical attempts at TV watches.
A counterpoint to the recent look at Jack Dorsey and Twitter's history in the New York Times Magazine, this profile from D.T. Max for The New Yorker offers another up-close look at Dorsey, from his own history to his work at Twitter and Square to his daily routine today.
- The Big Sell: What ambitious scientists can learn from the Human Genome Project
by Virginia Hughes, Slate
- As We May Type
by Paul Ford, Technology Review