Alex Schroeder

Latest Stories (227)

Inside the push to limit China's access to advanced chip-making tech

What's motivating the multinational effort to restrict China from chip-making tools.
Chris Miller, a professor of history at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, says these controls are all about national security.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Taser drones in schools? The idea isn't completely kaput

Dina Temple-Raston, host of the Click Here podcast, walks us through the polarizing school safety proposal.
Axon, maker of the Taser, is reportedly keeping its controversial "Taser drone" idea alive, said journalist Dina Temple-Raston.
David McNew/Getty Images

Lessons so far from Elon Musk's tweet trial

University of Michigan's Erik Gordon says Musk may have offered us salient advice: don't take what he says as gospel.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk leaves the Phillip Burton Federal Building on Jan. 24, 2023, where he testified at a trial regarding tweets saying he was taking Tesla private.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The case for clutter

Journalist Rob Walker talks about the potential merits of keeping some of that old clutter around the house.
We might not want to rush and throw away all our trinkets, argues journalist Rob Walker.
leezsnow/Getty Images

Tracing the history of electronics through the Old Calculator Web Museum

"The first digital use of the transistor for consumers was in a calculator," says Rick Bensene, curator of the Old Calculator Web Museum.
Back in the 1970s, the first microprocessors and transistor technology were breaking ground in calculators.
MarioGuti via Getty Images

The transistor's story is one of innovation and immigration

Mohamed Atalla of Egypt and Dawon Kahng of Korea are responsible for the technology that helped harness the transistor's power.
The technology developed by two immigrants at Bell Labs in 1959 allowed transistors to become small enough so that more could fit on a microprocessor.
krystiannawrocki/Getty Images

The transistor's role in the birth of Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley exists for a number of reasons. Chief among them might be the mother of a Nobel Prize winner.
Companies like Intel were born from the semiconductor revolution. But how did silicon — and the transistor — end up in California?
David McNew/Newsmakers via Getty Images

Taking the transistor mainstream with music on the go

The transistor starts to shine when Texas Instruments asks Regency to make a radio for more mobile listening.
The Regency TR-1 was the first commercially manufactured transistor radio.
Joe Haupt via Wikimedia Commons

What does Nokia Bell Labs look like 75 years since the transistor's invention?

It's responsible for the transistor, information theory, pioneering satellite work and more.
Today, Bell Labs is owned by Nokia. The research company is working on 6G mobile phone technology and a cellular network on the moon, among other things.
Alex Schroeder/Marketplace

Bell Labs: The research center behind the transistor, and so much more

Bell Labs was the research arm of AT&T, a monopoly at the time the transistor was invented.
Physicists John Bardeen (left), William Shockley (center) and Walter Brattain won the Nobel Prize for their work on the transistor. It's one of nine Nobel Prizes that Bell Labs researchers have received.
Nokia USA Inc. and AT&T Archives

Need some Econ 101?

Our new Marketplace Crash Course is here to help. Sign-up for free, learn at your own pace.