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.
How Holograms Are About To Change The World
Holograms have the power to resurrect the dead. Want to see Michael Jackson live in concert? Digital technology can bring him back to life. Within 10 years, DJs will be replaced by holograms, we’ll use them to speak to one another, and they might even take our jobs.
In a world where the smartphone is now ubiquitous, photographers capture daily life in which the personal device is part of the moment. Whether it is used for communication, navigation, a flashlight, a wallet, or to take photos, it’s an essential part of life for many.
One Of The Country’s Largest Utilities Is A Fiery Mess. How Can California Fix It?
For the last 150 years, Pacific Gas & Electric has been playing political hardball to maintain its monopoly over California’s electricity. Last year, a PG&E power line ignited the Camp Fire, which killed 85 people, making it the deadliest wildfire in the state’s history.
The Unhackable Email Service
Ladar Levison built an encrypted email service called Lavabit that counted a prominent figure among its users: Edward Snowden. When the FBI demanded Levison decrypt Snowden’s communications, he had two options, either hand over the encryption key or destroy his servers. He chose the latter.
How To Tell If You’re Talking To A Bot
It’s important not to be swayed by fake accounts or waste your time arguing with them, and identifying bots in a Twitter thread has become a strange version of the Turing test. Advances in machine learning hint at how bots could become more humanlike.
The Secrets Behind The Runaway Success Of Apple’s Airpods
If you started a business in an ultra-competitive space in consumer tech, and within three years it was earning more revenue than AMD, Spotify, Twitter, Snap or Shopify, you’d justifiably be pleased with yourself. Apple’s wearables, home and accessories division has done just this.
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.
Ring And Nest Helped Normalize American Surveillance And Turned Us Into A Nation Of Voyeurs
The allure of monitoring people silently from afar has also proved more tempting than many expected. Customers who bought the cameras in hopes of not becoming victims joke that instead they’ve become voyeurs.
How To Stop Plastic Getting Into The Ocean
By 2050 there could be more plastic in the ocean by weight, than fish. Plastic pollution is definitely one of the largest threats our oceans face today. Meet the engineers who are using rubbish-guzzling boats to stem the flow at its source.
For Bumble, The Future Isn’t Female, It’s Female Marketing
Whitney Wolfe Herd set out to build a safer dating app for women, but it’s not clear that she’s made a measurable difference. According to a company user survey, about a third of Bumble women had received lewd photos from men, whether through text or other social media that Bumble couldn’t control.
Unfold: The App That Lets You Create Beautiful Stories
Unfold is an app and toolkit for storytellers. It’s used by celebs, influencers and other Instagram power users. Create beautiful and engaging stories from minimal and elegant templates. The app is available for iOS and Android.
You’re Tracked Everywhere You Go Online. Use This Guide to Fight Back.
I recently did an online privacy checkup: Google was sharing my creditworthiness with third parties. If you would like Hearst, the publishing giant, to stop sharing your physical mailing address with third parties, you have to mail a physical letter with your request to the company’s lawyers.
When Elon Musk Tried To Destroy A Tesla Whistleblower
It started with an Elon Musk Twitter meltdown and ended with a fake mass shooter. A former security manager says the company also spied and spread misinformation.
Speedgate, The Sport Invented By Artificial Intelligence
A team of designers in Portland, Oregon, tasked their artificial intelligence system with building a new team sport for us humans. The result of that pet project, Speedgate, is being heralded as the first viable AI-created field game. It has since become an indie sports phenomenon, with proposed leagues in more than 50 countries worldwide.
The Law That’s Helping Fuel Delhi’s Deadly Air Pollution
The World Health Organization reported last year that 11 of the 12 cities in the world with the most pollution from PM2.5 were in India. A policy to conserve water resources led to the rise of a major source of air pollution, making breathing Delhi’s air as bad as smoking 50 cigarettes.
VW Car2X: Networked Driving Comes To Real Life
Volkswagen Car2X technology warns the driver of problems such as roadside breakdowns, the end of a traffic jam or the location of an accident. But also emergency braking situations: if a driver slams on the brakes, other vehicles are informed of sudden braking maneuvers by other traffic participants.
This Was The Decade Climate Change Slapped Us In The Face
Broken temperature records, unnatural disasters, and homes lost would show just how catastrophically humans had transformed the planet. It’s been a decade of adapting to a new normal while clumsily figuring out how to safeguard the future from a climate crisis that’s only going to get worse.
How Governments Shut Down The Internet
Governments around the world are shutting down the internet, saying it’s needed to prevent protests or cheating on exams. But critics say blocking expression and access to information violates human rights. Here’s how internet shutdowns work.
The Internet Is Destroying Our Collective Attention Span
The length of time our “collective attention” is on any given event has grown shorter, and topics become popular and then drop out of public view at an accelerating rate. It’s no surprise if it feels harder and harder to dwell deeply on any topic.
Why Amazon Has So Many Counterfeit Goods
Seizures of counterfeit products at U.S. borders have increased 10-fold over the past two decades as e-commerce sales have boomed. The total value of seized goods – if they had been real – reached nearly $1.4 billion in 2018. Most are coming from mainland China or Hong Kong.