Behind The Chinese Internet Wall
What is happening on the other side of the barrier? There we find people who respond to state controls with creativity and spunk. While some spend their days trawling cat videos, others create oases of subversion within the reality that they’ve been dealt.
The Expat English Teachers’ Murderous Triangle
His ease with people, his natural charisma — these things made him a vital piece of the underground foreigner scene in Taipei, a key component of the drug culture. But it was a dangerous game that Sanjay Ryan Ramgahan played, a game that can turn even the safest of places into the deadliest of traps. Once he fell into it, there was no charming his way out.
Why Are Millions Of Chinese Kids Parenting Themselves?
Generations of Wang Ying’s family farmed the misty mountains of Liangshan, one of China’s poorest regions. But now, the 14-year-old girl lives on her own as the sole caretaker of her two younger siblings. They are among an estimated 9 million “left-behind children” raising themselves in the Chinese countryside.
How The Weather Channel Is Pioneering Mixed Reality For Live Television
The Weather Channel began investing in immersive mixed reality in late 2017 to respond to a growing demand for video across all platforms. The network has been recording about one mixed-reality segment per month since June 2018 and is getting ready to massively expand these efforts.
Inside The Bizarre Subculture That Lives To Explore Chernobyl’s Dead Zone
As the first generation of Ukrainians born after the Chernobyl tragedy comes of age, a small subculture of them is now doing the unthinkable: defying government prohibitions and illegally entering the highly radioactive Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, or “Dead Zone”—for fun.
In Venezuela’s Economic Crisis, Bitcoin Is a Lifeline
Faced with hyperinflation, a worthless local currency and a risky black market for dollars, Venezuelans are increasingly turning to bitcoin as a tool for survival in the world’s worst-performing economy.
Synthetic Media: The Real Trouble With Deepfakes
Keeping on top of manipulated videos and images is no easy feat. Scientists trace the roots of their proliferation, dig up new techniques to counter digital forgeries and warn of the growing dangers ahead.
Google Search Results Have More Human Help Than You Think, Report Finds
Google’s increasingly hands-on approach to search results, which has taken a sharp upturn since 2016, marks a shift from its founding philosophy of ‘organizing the world’s information’ to one that is far more active in deciding how that information should appear.
How The Dumb Design Of A WWII Plane Led To The Macintosh
For all the triumph of America’s new planes and tanks during World War II, a silent reaper stalked the battlefield: accidental deaths and mysterious crashes that no amount of training ever seemed to fix. At first, pilots took the blame for crashes. The true cause, however, lay with the design. That lesson led us into our user-friendly age—but there’s peril to come.
Infinite Scroll: Life Under Instagram
The speed of machine learning is startling, often creepy. It is hard to tell what is creepier: the feeling that someone is somewhere out there, following your every step, or the fact that no one is, just the tracking device you carry with you in your pocket.
The Parents Raising Their Kids On The Road
What is it like to raise your kids on the road? Two families describe how they changed their children’s lives by showing them the world, while a mum-to-be explains why she plans to do just that with her six-month-old baby.
Escape From The Matrix
The fear of missing out, a spawn of technological advancement and proliferating social information, is the feeling that we’re missing out on something more exciting, more important, or more interesting going on somewhere else. FoMO haunts our social networks and our real lives alike. But there is a way to break free.
What Would Happen If Facebook Were Turned Off?
Facebook is blamed for all sorts of social horrors: from addiction and bullying to the erosion of fact-based political discourse and the enabling of genocide. New research—and there is more all the time—suggests such accusations are not entirely without merit. It may be time to consider what life without Facebook would be like.
Inside The Apple Team That Decides Which Apps Get On iPhones
Before a developer can sell an app on the App Store, it must be approved by Apple’s app review team. The former head of App Store reviews discusses why apps get rejected, competition between Apple and developers, and planning for WWDC.
How Saudi Arabia Infiltrated Twitter
In April 2014, a public relations firm representing the Saudi Embassy asked Ahmad Abouammo, part of Twitter’s global media team, to verify an account belonging to a Saudi news personality. This request for a blue checkmark opened the door to a working relationship with the country’s government.
When Her Best Friend Died, She Rebuilt Him Using Artificial Intelligence
It had been three months since Roman Mazurenko, Kuyda’s closest friend, had died. Kuyda had spent that time gathering up his old text messages, setting aside the ones that felt too personal, and feeding the rest into a neural network built by developers at her artificial intelligence startup.
The Case For Making Low-Tech ‘Dumb’ Cities Instead Of ‘Smart’ Ones
There’s no concrete definition of a smart city, but high-tech versions promise to use cameras and sensors to monitor everyone and everything, from bins to bridges, and use the resulting data to help the city run smoothly. But what if we ditched the data and embraced ancient technology instead?
The World Through The Eyes Of The US
There is always that one country on America’s collective conscious. After looking at 741,681 section front headlines of The New York Times, Russell Goldenberg found out which countries around the world have preoccupied Americans the most each month since 1900.
Medellín, Expressed In Hip Hop
Alongside the government-level efforts to regenerate the city, some residents took matters into their own hands and formed grassroots arts, activism, and charitable projects. Photographer Ozzie Hoppe captures the Colombian city’s growing hip-hop community.
Future Shock In The Countryside
Conflicting populations already struggle against the seasonal chaos of floods and droughts. The large industrial centers that power fossil-fuel pollution are at risk—the Pearl River Delta is one—but disproportionate consequences are poised to fall upon areas that did little to contribute.
This Is What The Earth’s Climate Will Look Like In 2050
We know that Earth will continue to warm. We know that the adverse impacts of climate change are disproportionately larger as we go to higher temperatures and that the risk of irreversible and disastrous changes increases. We know that sea levels will continue to rise and that melting of ice caps will continue.