Is Technology Scrambling My Baby’s Brain?
During the first two years of a baby’s life, its brain triples in weight, marking a period of explosive growth that will never be matched again in its life. Those early years are a crucial time for mental development, setting the foundation for adulthood.
How A Hot $100 Million Home Design Startup Collapsed Overnight
The untold story of how Homepolish’s extremely Instagrammable house of cards came tumbling down. Instead of building a design juggernaut, the founder constructed something much more precarious — a fear-based culture where sound strategy couldn’t flourish, and where the pressure to grow led to reckless decision-making.
How To Be A Better Web Searcher: Secrets From Google Scientists
Search engines are powerful tools that can be incredibly helpful, but they also require a bit of understanding to find the information you are actually seeking. Small changes in how you search can go a long way toward finding better answers.
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.
Inside Google’s Civil War
With its “Don’t be evil” mantra, Google was a central player in creating the rosy optimism of the tech boom. Some employees say Google is losing touch with that motto. What happens when an empowered tech workforce rebels?
The Apps On My Phone Are Stalking Me
Your location, your purchases, video and audio from within your home and office, your online searches and every digital wandering, biometric tracking of your face and other body parts, your heart rate and other vital signs, your every communication, recording, and perhaps your deepest thoughts or idlest dreams.
I Lost My Identity To A Fraudster, And It Took Six Years To Clean Up The Mess
This essay is going to scare you. There is a better-than-average chance that, at some point in the last several years, your personal information was stolen. Not something small like a credit card account, but the good stuff, your Social Security number coupled with your birthdate.
The One-Traffic-Light Town With Some Of The Fastest Internet In The U.S.
Connecting rural America to broadband is a popular talking point on the campaign trail. In one Kentucky community, it’s already a way of life. McKee, an Appalachian town of about twelve hundred tucked into the Pigeon Roost Creek valley, is the seat of Jackson County, one of the poorest counties in the country.
What Comes After TV?
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 People Who Shaped The World Wide Web
Thirty years ago, the world wide web was a way for scientists to share data. Since then, it’s become a critical force for industry, and how the world connects. But this didn’t happen all at once. The web’s evolution has been shaped by the geography of its creators and users.
How The “IKEA Effect” Explains Today’s Startups
Having customers do most of the work, feel great about it, and at the same time perceive they have attained value for their money is the Holy Grail in business. Ikea gets it–and so do many of today’s hottest startups.
Who To Sue When A Robot Loses Your Fortune
The first known case of humans going to court over investment losses triggered by autonomous machines will test the limits of liability. A Hong Kong tycoon is going after the salesman who persuaded him to entrust his fortune to the supercomputer whose trades cost him more than $20 million.
In South-East Asia, Grab And Gojek Bring Banking To The Masses
Both started with ride-hailing and expanded into other logistics businesses, such as deliveries and food-ordering. The story of two South-East Asian “deca-unicorns”—fintechs valued above $10bn—is usually told in terms of their rivalry.
How Technology Is Hijacking Your Mind
I spent the last three years as a Design Ethicist at Google caring about how to design things in a way that defends a billion people’s minds from getting hijacked. When using technology, we often focus optimistically on all the things it does for us. But I want to show you where it might do the opposite.
The Soviets’ Unbreakable Code
Created at the end of World War II and introduced in 1956, the Fialka replaced the Albatross, a Soviet cipher machine that was itself more complex than the Enigma. By the 1970s, Fialka encryption machines had been widely adopted by Warsaw Pact and other communist nations, and they remained in use until the early 1990s.
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.
The ‘Internet of Things’ Is Sending Us Back To The Middle Ages
One key reason we don’t control our devices is that the companies that make them seem to think – and definitely act like – they still own them, even after we’ve bought them. The companies say they still own the software, and because they own it, they can control it.
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.
Playtronica Turns Your Body Into An Instrument
The world we live in is afraid of touch and interaction, so Playtronica decided to highlight it – turn human skin into a musical instrument. Now you can experience the future of human touch and do it with style.
The Truth About Andy Rubin And Google’s Existential Crisis
20,000 former colleagues staged a walkout against Andy Rubin and other alleged sexual predation among senior management – Why did the man who won Google the smartphone wars get paid $90 million to leave?
How TripAdvisor Changed Travel
The world’s biggest travel site has turned the industry upside down – but now it is struggling to deal with the same kinds of problems that are vexing other tech giants like Facebook, Google and Twitter. The future of TripAdvisor and similar enterprises seems less certain than it once did.