Developed for the military, dodging bureaucracy and fuelled by venture capital: canned food blazed a trail many of today's biggest tech innovations have followed. Tim Harford reveals the surprising lessons and cautionary tales lurking under the lid.
Tim Harford tells the story of how Honoré Blanc, a gun-maker in 18th-century France, transformed the way the world manufactures things - but couldn't benefit from his own innovations.
The price of oil is arguably the most important in the world economy. How did we become so dependent - and are we ever likely to wean ourselves off it?
It's claimed that some computers can now pass the Turing test: convincing people that they are human. Tim Harford asks how important that distinction is, and what it means for the future of human interaction.
Solar power has been harnessed by civilisations since the days of the ancient Greeks, but it's now on the verge of being more important than ever. Tim Harford examines how much of a challenge it poses to the energy establishment, and what that could mean for the planet's future.