Steven Levy

And Justice For All

Twenty-five years and 37 days after Ira Einhorn crushed Holly Maddux's skull and stuffed her in a trunk, the former hippie boulevardier, with his hair shorn now and decked in a clubby blue blazer, sat next to his lawyer to hear his fate.

I Was A Wi-Fi Freeloader

The other day, I plopped down on my living-room couch to do some work on my laptop while watching a football game. The family cable modem, which pumps high-speed Internet into our abode, was at the other end of the apartment, hardwired to a computer on a desk in the bedroom.

Glitterati Vs. Geeks

Larry Lessig admits it: he's nervous. Who wouldn't be? This week the brainy Stanford law professor makes his first appearance before the U.S. Supreme Court--barely a decade after clerking for Justice Antonin Scalia--to argue a case that could redirect millions of dollars, rejigger the entertainment menu of the entire nation and liberate Mickey Mouse.In its narrowest context, Eldred v.

Time For An Instant Fix

God knows that America Online has enough problems. There's that funny accounting business, its inability to meet ad quotas and all the untidy blame-mongering that follows the purchase of an elite media goliath by an overvalued Internet company. (I'm sure that everyone in the online service's Vienna, Va., headquarters felt great when CEO Dick Parsons began a sentence with the phrase "If AOL is going to live...") Given all those travails, does a broken promise about instant messaging mean a hill...

The Trial Of A Radical, Finally

This week, lawyers picked a jury in Philadelphia for the Ira Einhorn murder trial, with opening arguments to begin on Monday. It's an understatement to say that this is an event long overdue.Twenty five years ago this month--Jimmy Carter was president and the first Star Wars movie had just been released--Helen "Holly" Maddux, then a vivacious 30-year-old, was called to the apartment she once shared with Ira Einhorn, her longtime boyfriend of several years.

Software: The Eminence Geek

The people most identified with the software giant Microsoft are, of course, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. The third is up for grabs, but to hard-core nerds it may well be Charles Simonyi, the 54-year-old Hungarian-born computer scientist who joined a small, scruffy firm in 1981 and helped it to become Microsoft.

Living In The Blog-Osphere

Zack was an insecure kid who clowned around in high school and felt that no one really liked him. About a year ago he started a Weblog, or blog--an easy-to-maintain journal-like personal Web site where he could express his feelings and share his songs, poems and artwork with his classmates. "I thought that people would like me if they truly knew me," explains Zack, now 18.

Can 8.0 Save The Chat Room?

Even if he hadn't been just appointed the new CEO of America Online, Jonathan Miller would have made a nice poster boy for the online service. He certainly has the technical savvy to handle the wilds of the Internet without training wheels--after all, he headed USA Networks' valuable online properties--but for six years Miller, 45, has also been a happy member of the 34 million-strong so-called AOL community. "Every morning my 8-year-old son plays chess against someone somewhere in the world,"...

Armani, Andy And Apple

Steve Jobs and New York's SoHo district are a natural fit. Both are icons in the nexus where taste, art and commerce all meet. Like SoHo, Apple CEO Jobs has evolved from scruffy beginnings to prosperity while maintaining a quietly hip edge.So it's no wonder that when Apple opened its first store in New York City, Jobs chose the place where Giorgio Armani and the Keith Haring shopcoexist.

Internet: A 'Real' Innovation

In one of the Internet's most hotly contested battlegrounds, a top competitor has plans to enlist the Geek Legion to its aid. Real Networks is a leader in streaming media--the technology by which music and video flows into your computer--but the company constantly has to keep on its toes to stave off the relentless challenge from Microsoft, which created its own Windows Media standard.

Labels To Net Radio: Die Now

Jim Atkinson is cannon fodder in the digital-music wars. Five years ago he and his wife, Wanda, began 3WK, a virtual radio station that streams tunes of their beloved alt/indie rock to listeners over the Internet.

Pc Prescription: Tablet

For more than a year now, Bill Gates has appeared at computer shows, captain-of-industry hoedowns and, for all we know, weddings and bar mitzvahs, waving what looks like a bulked-up Etch A Sketch, and saying that the tablet will smite the laptop.What's a tablet?

The Big Secret

In ancient Troy stood the Palladium, a statue of the goddess Athena. Legend has it that the safety of the city depended on that icon's preservation. Later the term came to mean a more generic safeguard.Here's something that cries for a safeguard: the world of computer bits.

Pc Prescription: Tablet

For more than a year now, Bill Gates has appeared at computer shows, captain-of-industry hoedowns and, for all we know, weddings and bar mitzvahs, waving what looks like a bulked-up Etch A Sketch, and saying that the tablet will smite the laptop.What's a tablet?

Great Minds, Great Ideas

If the respective experiences of Stephen Wolfram and Dean Kamen are any indication, hell on earth for a brilliant innovator is spelled s-c-h-o-o-l.British-born Wolfram, now 42, son of a novelist and a philosophy professor, was miserable at Eton, the boy's hoary boarding school outside London.

Playing The Id Card

When Hani Hanjour and Khalid Almihdhar pulled their van into a 7-Eleven parking lot last Aug. 1, they weren't looking for Slurpees. Apparently they knew that the Falls Church, Va., location was a hangout for day laborers, and the third one they approached, Luis Martinez-Flores, agreed to their terms: $100 cash in exchange for accompanying them to a nearby Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles office and vouching that they were residents of the state.

Turning Off The Music Tap

Has the Internet bred a generation of music pirates? That's the implicit assumption of the record labels, which insist that their survival depends on imposing lockouts on both hardware and software that would limit your ability to copy music.

'Back To The Frontier'

One of the rituals in the high-tech industry is the late March pilgrimage to the Arizona desert (specifically, a resort in the outskirts of Scottsdale) for Esther Dyson's PC Forum.


Before describing what it's been like to create a company with traditional business values while Silicon Valley was going mad with greed, Foveon chairman and founder Carver Mead insists on giving a slide show showing something that really matters: ground-breaking technology.


Alexander Katalov never asked to be a commuter between his native Russia and Silicon Valley. His software company was doing quite well, thank you, without a presence in California.

With A Little Bit Of Luxo

This year the sacrosanct rituals of the Steve Jobs keynote at the semiannual Macworld conference were slightly altered. Normally, Apple Computer assumes a corporate poker face about anything Jobs may or may not be unveiling during the speech, leaving it up to the faithful cadre of Mac geeks to freely speculate on what the charismatic cofounder has in hand.

A Couch Potato's Digital Dream

If you sold your company to Microsoft, how would you splurge? Steve Perlman dropped about a million bucks outfitting his Lake Tahoe, Calif., retreat with a self-designed digital home entertainment center, where TV, video, music (950 CDs!) and the Web are integrated, networked and easily controlled from any room. "It's awesome," he says.

What Was That About?

The case was supposed to be two well-matched competitors--the United States government and Microsoft, Washington v. Washington--in the mightiest legal clash of the two centuries it straddled.

Mac Music

Steve Jobs is breathless, as if he's just run a marathon. In fact, he's making this phone call only minutes after a different form of exertion--one of his patented launch events.

Technology: A High-Tech Home Front

At the airports, the much-maligned minimum-wage screeners confiscated nail clippers and corkscrews while cops and soldiers patrolled the corridors. Lines formed at the borders, traffic slowed on the highways, and bridges and tunnel approaches were jammed as agents searched trucks for possible explosives.