Posts tagged ‘WIred’

Mark Parker’s Dream Sneakers Become a Reality

Photo via Nike

Photo via Nike

Nike CEO Mark Parker ’77 is featured in the cover story for this month’s edition of Wired. It looks at one of Nike’s most innovative shoes ever: the self-lacing HyperAdapt 1.0, which loosen and tighten by pressing a button and will come out later this year. This concept stems from Marty McFly’s iconic sneakers in Back to the Future II.

Wired tells the backstory of Parker and his role as one of the designers of the shoe, an idea sparked in 1988 after a meeting with the film’s director. The creation of a self-lacing sneaker for the movie led to nearly 30 years of work to turn it a real shoe, which will be released on November 28. In that time, Parker has risen from a Nike designer to the company’s president and CEO; in June, he was announced as the successor to Phil Knight as Nike board chair.

You can take a look at those shoes right here. This issue of Wired has another cool tie to Penn State, as the cover, pictured below, was photographed by Dan Saelinger ’01.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

October 6, 2016 at 1:47 pm 1 comment

Mike Karns Brings “Hamilton” to the Masses

michael karns

Wired published a story today on Mike Karns ’11, who you may remember from our Sept./Oct. 2015 cover story about Penn Staters on Broadway. Karns does his work behind the scenes for Marathon Live Entertainment, where one of his responsibilities is handling social media for a number of shows, including the smash hit Hamilton.

Wired wrote about how Karns has helped grow Hamilton‘s digital presence. In addition to running social media platforms like the show’s Twitter and Instagram accounts, Karns manages its YouTube channel, which features the popular #Ham4Ham series. These include, among other things, videos of special performances put on by the Hamilton‘s creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda for fans who wait in line for tickets through the show’s lottery.

For more of these live performances, head over to Hamilton‘s YouTube channel. And while you’re at it, check out Karns’ work on the show’s official Twitter and Instagram pages.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

May 10, 2016 at 1:23 pm Leave a comment

Launching the Internet—by Balloon

Steven Levy ’74g went to New Zealand to report his latest story for Wired—a tale of how Google is trying to bring Internet access to some pretty remote locations using a pretty wild scheme. It involves putting antennas into solar-power balloons and launching them into the stratosphere. Google calls the idea Project Loon, because it’s kind of crazy. But it just might work.

Levy writes that Project Loon could “provide Internet to a significant chunk of the world’s 5 billion unconnected souls, enriching their lives with vital news, precious educational materials, lifesaving health information, and images of grumpy cats.”

Levy’s story is accompanied by some cool photos of the project.

Tina Hay, editor

June 17, 2013 at 9:52 am 3 comments

On Steve Jobs

Of the many obituaries today for Steve Jobs, two of the most relevant and (I’d imagine) widely read were written by Penn Staters. Ted Anthony ’95 was given the task of summing up Jobs’ life by the Associated Press, and it’s a great read. He leads with a memory of the day the Apple co-founder introduced the Macintosh to the world. “In dark suit and bowtie, he is a computing-era carnival barker—eyebrows bouncing, hands gesturing, smile seductive and coy and a bit annoying. It’s as if he’s on his first date with an entire generation of consumers. And, in a way, he is.” If you haven’t already, you can read the AP obit here.

Then there’s Steven Levy ’74g, who has spent much of his career documenting the innovation that made Jobs a tech icon and Apple one of the wealthiest companies—and arguably the most influential—on the planet. Levy now writes for Wired, and his obit gets right to the point: “It had taken a while for the world to realize what an amazing treasure Steve Jobs was. But Jobs knew it all along.” Levy’s piece is here.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

October 6, 2011 at 4:24 pm 1 comment

Philip Klass and William Tenn, RIP

Former Penn State English professor Philip Klass—best known to generations of science fiction fans by his pen name, William Tenn—died Sunday at 89. This obituary in the Centre Daily Times gives a good sense of what made Klass and his work so memorable and influential; among the writers touched by his guidance are David Morrell ’67 MA, ’70 PhD Lib (best-selling author of First Blood among many others) and Steven Levy ’74 MA Lib, who today penned this terrific tribute on Wired magazine’s site.

Quick update: Our editor, Tina Hay, found a link that we just had to add to this post — a profile of Tenn from a 1973 issue of The Penn Stater. No, none of us were here then (although that is the year I was born…) and therefore cannot take credit or blame for the psychedelic art work. It’s a fun read.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

February 8, 2010 at 5:15 pm 4 comments


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