Infinite Scroll: Life Under Instagram • Discoverology

Infinite Scroll: Life Under Instagram

Apps, Long Reads, Tech

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.

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The American Restaurant Is On Life Support

The American Restaurant Is On Life Support

Food, Long Reads

The restaurant industry is in a scary place, one that fairly guarantees heartbreak. We’re eating at street-corner stalls and food trucks, in front of the TV and at the grocery—everywhere but restaurants. They might not be here when we get back.

What Comes After TV?

What Comes After TV?

Innovation, Media, Tech

A mobile-storytelling platform called Quibi has loomed on the content horizon, promising that, when its app launches this spring, it will be a home to a huge library of short-form shows made specifically for your phone. But Snapchat has been operating in that space for years. It’s harder than you’d think.

The Man With The Golden Airline Ticket

The Man With The Golden Airline Ticket

Long Reads

My dad was one of the only people with a good-for-life, go-anywhere American Airlines pass. Then they took it away. This is the true story of having—and losing—a superpower.

How To Prepare Now For The Complete End Of The World

How To Prepare Now For The Complete End Of The World

Life, Long Reads, Nature

Some people now are considering what it means to live in a world that could be shut down by a pandemic. But some people are already living like this. Some do it because they just like it. Some do it because they think the end has, in fact, already begun to arrive.

We’re Getting Closer To The Quantum Internet, But What Is It?

We’re Getting Closer To The Quantum Internet, But What Is It?

Explainers, Innovation, Science, Tech

Instead of the bits that today’s network uses, which can only express a value of either 0 or 1, the future quantum internet would utilize qubits of quantum information, which can take on an infinite number of values. A quibit is the unit of information for a quantum computer; it’s like a bit in an ordinary computer.

The Mob’s IT Department

The Mob’s IT Department

Crime, Long Reads

How two technology consultants helped drug traffickers hack the Port of Antwerp. A story of two men who became pawns of a violent group through coercion and a series of very bad decisions.

Credit Card Companies Are Tracking Shoppers Like Never Before

Credit Card Companies Are Tracking Shoppers Like Never Before

Business, Tech

Transactions have given rise to a complex data-selling ecosystem. At the heart of it are credit card processing networks, including Visa, American Express, and Mastercard, the latter of which took in $4.1 billion in 2019 for services that include marketing analytics as well as fraud detection.

How Ads Follow You Around The Internet

How Ads Follow You Around The Internet

Explainers, Tech, Videos

You’ve seen the pop-ups: “This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Please accept cookies.” Without cookies, the online world we know today couldn’t exist. But that world relies on advertising, which gives three kinds of companies a strong incentive to track your online behavior.

Inside The Booming Business Of Background Music

Inside The Booming Business Of Background Music

Long Reads, Media

The background music industry – also known as music design, music consultancy or something offered as part of a broader package of “experiential design” or “sensory marketing” – is constantly deciding what we hear as we go about our everyday business. The biggest player in the industry, Mood Media, supplies music to 560,000 locations across the world, from Sainsbury’s to KFC.

The Million-Dollar Hacker

The Million-Dollar Hacker

Tech, Videos

Tommy DeVoss used to break into websites illicitly. But after serving time for his crimes, he now uses his skills to earn an honest living. Through arrangements known as bug bounty programs, companies pay him to find security holes in their systems. He’s now earned more than $1 million in this emerging profession.

How Shenzhen Is Fueling Ethiopia’s Burgeoning Startup Scene

How Shenzhen Is Fueling Ethiopia’s Burgeoning Startup Scene

Business, Tech, Videos, World

As Shenzhen companies look to Africa for new consumer markets, African entrepreneurs are turning to Shenzhen for manufacturing partners to turn their ideas into reality. How the movers and shakers in Ethiopia’s burgeoning tech startup scene are tapping into the open source manufacturing ecosystem of China’s most entrepreneurial city.

Jeff Pike, Texas’s Own Tony Soprano

Jeff Pike, Texas’s Own Tony Soprano

Crime, Long Reads

Jeff Pike, the head of the infamous Texas-based Bandidos motorcycle club, went on trial in federal court for racketeering. Prosecutors called him a ruthless killer, the man behind one of the deadliest biker shootouts in American history at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco. Pike, however, said he was just a good family man.

The Amish Keep To Themselves. And They’re Hiding A Horrifying Secret

The Amish Keep To Themselves. And They’re Hiding A Horrifying Secret

Crime, Long Reads

Virtually every Amish victim I spoke to—mostly women but also several men—told me they were dissuaded by their family or church leaders from reporting their abuse to police or had been conditioned not to seek outside help. Some victims said they were intimidated and threatened with excommunication.

A New Start-Up Wants To Use AI To Replace “Expensive, Architect-Designed” Homes

A New Start-Up Wants To Use AI To Replace “Expensive, Architect-Designed” Homes

Architecture, Design, Innovation, Tech

Tech start-up Higharc aims to “reinvent home design for the digital age.” The company uses iterative design to create “custom” 3D models and plans. Algorithmic design isn’t new to architecture, but it looks like Higharc seeks to do away with “expensive, architect-designed plans that take forever to produce.”

The School Shooting That Austin Forgot

The School Shooting That Austin Forgot

Crime, History, Long Reads

John Ray barely remembered the details of that day—May 18, 1978—when a friend at his Austin junior high school walked into class and, in front of Ray and twenty other eighth graders, shot and killed their teacher, Wilbur “Rod” Grayson. Ray and his classmates still wonder: What really happened?

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