Old Media, New Tricks

Can The New York Times' R&D Lab tech-heads help save the battered news brand?

"You’ll notice we’ve got lots of electronics around—most of which we’ve taken apart,” says New York Times R&D Lab creative technologist Alexis Lloyd, casually sidestepping two turquoise exercise balls. Walking toward Lloyd’s desk, where she’s working on an indecipherable screen of code, she explains that some of her co-workers have swapped their chairs for the rubber spheres to prevent back pain during protracted coding sessions. Atop the rows of desks, two disassembled mice sit next to a broken Kindle and a tangle of wires and batteries. Workbenches and soldering irons coexist with flat-screen monitors.