How One Company You’ve Never Heard Of Swallowed Tens Of Thousands Of Text Messages — Then Spit Them Back Out
People woke up to strange text messages from friends and loved ones. The messages had actually been sent months earlier, on Valentine’s Day, but had been frozen in place by a glitched server and were only shot out when the system was finally fixed nine months later.
The Rise Of Shopify, $68 Billion In Size. How Did It Get So Big?
Shopify is the leading E-commerce platform in the United States with 23% market share and has become the second-largest platform in terms of total merchandise volume, surpassing eBay in September 2019 and just behind Amazon. The company’s stock is up more than 20 times its IPO price.
Kudos, Leaderboards, QOMs: How Fitness App Strava Became A Religion
Strava is a fitness and sports tracking platform that launched in 2009 and bills itself the “number one app for runners and cyclists”. The app offers community, training data and motivation to millions of athletes. Even runners who dislike tech can’t bear to be without it.
Iceland’s Big Bitcoin Heist
With its cheap geothermal energy and low crime rate, Iceland has become the world’s leading miner of digital currency. Then the crypto-crooks showed up. The thieves weren’t robbing banks. They were stealing the presses that print digital money.
The Man Who Drove McDonald’s Out Of Iceland
Tómas Tómasson’s all-American burger joint is so legendary in Iceland, it ousted McDonald’s from the country. It all began back in 1981 when the good folk of Reykjavík, Iceland still thought fish and chips was exotic foreign food. Along came Tommi and taught them to worship a new kind of sustenance: the mighty burger.
The Internet’s Second Revolution
The second half of humanity is joining the internet. People in countries like India will change the internet, and it will change them. You have a whole bunch of languages that don’t enjoy very good support in terms of web browsers or input. And you have a whole bunch of people who can’t actually read or write.
How A Single Mom Created A Plastic Food-Storage Empire
The story of Tupperware is a story of innovation and reinvention: how a new kind of plastic, made from industrial waste material, ended up a symbol of female empowerment. The product ushered women into the workforce, encouraging them to make their own money, better their families, and win accolades and prizes.
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.
The Economics Of Airline Class
The story of the development of airline classes really isn’t the story of how airlines developed more and more luxurious seats, it’s how they cut costs to allow more and more people to fly. It’s also a fascinating demonstration of economics.
German Circus Uses Holograms Instead Of Live Animals For A Cruelty-Free Magical Experience
For a very long time, people couldn’t have imagined a circus show without horses, elephants, monkeys, and lions. But recently, Circus Roncalli has shunned tradition, swapping flesh and blood for hologram projections. The shows, however, remain just as spectacular.
I Stumbled Across A Huge Airbnb Scam That’s Taking Over London
As the short-term rental goldrush gathers pace, Airbnb empires are being rapidly scaled and monetized. This is the curious tale of a man called Christian, the Catholic church, David Schwimmer’s wife, a secret hotel and an Airbnb scam running riot on the streets of London.
The Movement To Stop Dollar Stores From Suffocating Black Communities
Some Black residents and elected officials argue the stores stifle economic growth and job creation, and exacerbate food insecurity. The stores are also disproportionately in areas that are low-income, rural, and Black, which experts say is racist.
Where Amazon Returns Go To Be Resold By Hustlers
Liquidity Services, the operator of liquidation.com, became a major (though not exclusive) handler of Amazon’s American liquidations. The company calls dealing with returns “the reverse supply chain”—a part of the retail business that has been growing in importance as online shopping becomes more popular.
How Lego Became The Apple Of Toys
In the last 10 years, Lego has grown into nothing less than the Apple of toys: a profit-generating, design-driven miracle built around premium, intuitive, highly covetable hardware that fans can’t get enough of. An exclusive look inside the company’s top-secret Future Lab.
3D Printing Homes For The Homeless In Austin
ICON, the 3D-printing construction company, has partnered with Mobile Loaves & Fishes (MLF) to build 3D-printed homes in Austin. The only neighborhood of its kind in the nation, Community First! Village provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for men and women coming out of chronic homelessness.
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 30 Year-Old Airline That’s Never Flown
Back in 1989, a guy by the name of Igor Dmitrovsky filed the paperwork to incorporate a small little business in the state of New York. This company would enter the metal cylinder organism transport business under the name Baltia Airlines. The airline was to fly from New York, US to St Petersburg, USSR.
Defeated Chess Champ Garry Kasparov Has Made Peace With AI
For almost two decades after becoming world champion in 1985, Garry Kasparov dominated the game with a ferocious style of play and an equally ferocious swagger. In 1997, at the height of his powers, Kasparov was crushed and cowed by an IBM supercomputer called Deep Blue.
Global 5G Deal Poses Significant Threat To Weather Forecast Accuracy
A long-awaited international deal governing how the world’s technology companies should roll out 5G technology poses serious risks to weather forecast accuracy, according to data from federal agencies and the World Meteorological Organization.
The Fraught Business Of Removing And Selling Street Art Murals
Sales of street art murals in general are divisive. Artists often object to the transformation of a work they created for public enjoyment into an art object to be bought and sold. Banksy mural sales in particular attract protest.
The Everything Town In The Middle Of Nowhere
On any given day, thousands of packages from Walmarts, Targets, and stores around the country travel north along a two-lane road out of Billings, Montana — past the Tumbleweed Saloon, past cows grazing on empty rangeland, past the Busy Bee Cafe and stands of short pines — to the town of Roundup, where they will be unboxed, re-boxed, and sent off to Amazon.