How Wikipedia’s Volunteers Became The Web’s Best Weapon Against Misinformation
Twenty years after it sputtered onto the web, it’s now a de facto pillar in our fact-checking infrastructure. Its pages often top Google search and feed the knowledge panels that appear at the top of those results. Big Tech’s own efforts to stop misinformation also rely upon Wikipedia.
Who Killed Sweden’s Prime Minister?
Three decades ago, Olof Palme was assassinated on Stockholm’s busiest street. The killer has never been found. Could the discovery of new evidence finally close the case?
The Data That Turned The World Upside Down
How Cambridge Analytica used your Facebook data to help the Donald Trump campaign in the 2016 election. A then little-known British company sent out a press release: “We are thrilled that our revolutionary approach to data-driven communication has played such an integral part in President-elect Trump’s extraordinary win.”
As Fires Rage In The Amazon, Brazil Massacres Activists Trying To Save The Rain Forest
Jane de Oliveira set out to protect the world’s largest rain forest from the corporate interests that are burning it to the ground. Then the armed men showed up.
The Four-Letter Code To Selling Just About Anything
As the father of industrial design, Raymond Loewy had an uncanny sense of how to make things fashionable. He believed that consumers are torn between two opposing forces: neophilia, a curiosity about new things; and neophobia, a fear of anything too new.
How “Old School” Commodore And Nintendo Graphics Worked
The limitations of color on older 1980’s computers and game consoles such as the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Commodore 64 explained.
The Terrorist Who Got Away
Twenty years ago, India let Masood Azhar go. Now he and his jihadist group may be one of the greatest obstacles to resolving the crisis in Kashmir. Eliminating Azhar and his organization has become a key strategic objective for India’s security establishment.
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 Dark Secrets Lurking Inside Your Outdoor Gear
Allegations of abuse have surfaced at Bangladeshi and Malaysian factories whose multinational owner manufactures for some of the most popular outdoor brands we love. Here’s why that should surprise no one.
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.
The Frontier Couple Who Chose Death Over Life Apart
Artist Eric Bealer was living the remote, rugged good life in coastal Alaska with his wife, Pam, an MS sufferer, when they made a dramatic decision: to exit this world together, leaving behind precise instructions for whoever entered their cabin first.
What Do We Do With Robert E. Lee?
The president of Washington and Lee University, Will Dudley, understood the depth of his problem the moment he turned on the television and saw hoards of white men in collared shirts and khakis carrying tiki torches as they marched through Charlottesville, Virginia, protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee.
iPhones Are Being Turned Into Ultrasound Devices To Diagnose Patients
The world’s first handheld ultrasound device, Butterfly iQ, will give hope to 4.7 billion people who don’t have access to medical imaging, revolutionizing modern medicine. Butterfly Network founder Dr Jonathan Rothberg invented the tool, a battery-operated device the size of an electric shaver that diagnoses abnormalities within seconds.
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.
The Productivity Paradox
Higher productivity means the expectation of rising wages and abundant job opportunities. In a time of Facebook, smartphones, self-driving cars, and computers that can beat a person at just about any board game, how can the key economic measure of technological progress be so pathetic?
How The U.S. Betrayed The Marshall Islands, Kindling The Next Nuclear Disaster
Between 1946 and 1958, the United States detonated 67 nuclear bombs on, in and above the Marshall Islands — vaporizing whole islands, carving craters into its shallow lagoons and exiling hundreds of people from their homes.
Quibi CEO Meg Whitman Plays The Long Game On Short Video
Quibi is an audacious new streaming service for high-quality video meant to be viewed on your phone. The business raised giant pools of money because “Hollywood quality is expensive, baby.” Meg Whitman’s last act is her biggest bet yet.
Conspiracy Theorists, Far-Right Extremists Around The World Seize On The Pandemic
The coronavirus is providing a global rallying cry for conspiracy theorists and far-right extremists on both sides of the Atlantic. People seizing on the pandemic range from white supremacists and anti-vaxxers in the U.S. to fascist and anti-refugee groups across Europe.
How Texas Instruments Monopolized Math Class
Some major textbooks feature illustrations of Texas Instruments–series calculators alongside the text, so students can use their Texas Instruments calculator with the lesson plan, emphasizing how deeply interwoven Texas Instruments remains with the educational hegemony.
China Aims To Launch The World’s First Official Digital Currency
Dozens of central banks have started looking at whether to issue digital currencies. But only a few have run trials and none has gone as far as China, which appears set to become the first country to put a central-bank digital currency (cbdc) into limited use.
Teen Girl Invents Simple, Yet Innovative Way To Remove Blind Spots In Cars
Alaina Gassler built a prototype system with a webcam, projector, and 3D-printed materials to fill in the space the car frame blocks from drivers. She mounted the webcam outside the passenger side A-pillar on a car and then displayed the live video on the inside pillar from a projector.