The Citizen Scientist Who Finds Killers From Her Couch
CeCe Moore has no scientific degree. Like other prominent figures in the genealogy community, she is self-taught. Moore is, in her own estimation, among the most experienced genetic genealogists in the world. Now she is using her genetic knowledge to expose murderers.
How Long Will Australia Be Livable?
As the country suffers through one of its worst droughts on record, and heat waves shatter temperature records not once but twice within the same summer week, some are asking whether Australians can afford to keep returning to the same parched, scorched landscapes.
New Technology In China Turns Desert Into Land Rich With Crops
China was praised for a law it passed in 2002 — the world’s first integrated law dedicated to combating desert expansion. With this goal in mind, China has carried out several projects that have been successful, including at one desert in northern China.
The Small Virginia Town Where Drone Deliveries Have Begun For Real
Wing, a subsidiary of Google, chose Christiansburg (population 22,500) as its first launching site for American commercial drone delivery operations — it’s also testing in Australia and Finland — not only because of the relatively flat terrain and low population density, but because of nearby Virginia Tech University.
The People’s NSA
Meet the hackers who are working with investigative journalists to expose organized crime and corruption by some of the world’s most sinister governments. Those governments are going to great lengths to shut down investigative reporting through cyber attacks and other intimidation tactics.
Studies Shoot Down Tech’s Harmful Effects on Kids—So Now What?
It looks like grownups can disregard the fear-mongering about the ill effects of digital media on kids. A 2017 study in Child Development found “little or no support for harmful links between digital screen use and young people’s psychological well-being.”
Why Is An Ocean Current Critical To World Weather Losing Steam?
A conveyor belt of ocean water that loops the planet and regulates global temperatures could be heading for a tipping point. Arctic sea ice this summer was the second-lowest on record, and ocean changes in the Arctic could dramatically change the climate for much of the rest of the planet.
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.
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.
Palantir’s Top-Secret User Manual For Cops
Palantir is one of the most significant and secretive companies in big data analysis. The company acts as an information management service for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, corporations like JP Morgan and Airbus, and dozens of other local, state, and federal agencies.
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.
MDMA Researcher Is Fixing The Bad Science That Sent Him To Prison
As a teenager, Christopher Medina-Kirchner went to prison for selling ecstasy, but now his MDMA research is debunking the bad science that got him there. He’s also creating a pipeline to help other formerly incarcerated people transition into scientific research.
Infinite Scroll: Life Under Instagram
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.
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.
What Would Happen If Facebook Were Turned Off?
Facebook is blamed for all sorts of social horrors: from addiction and bullying to the erosion of fact-based political discourse and the enabling of genocide. New research—and there is more all the time—suggests such accusations are not entirely without merit. It may be time to consider what life without Facebook would be like.
The Rail Industry’s Secret, Decades-Long Fight Against The Climate
For nearly 30 years, America’s four biggest rail companies—which move the majority of the country’s coal—have spent millions to deny climate science and block climate policy. They have joined or funded groups that attacked individual scientists and rejected reports from major scientific institutions.
What Does Uber Love More: Restaurants or Investors?
Eateries are getting squeezed by delivery apps. Restaurants can enjoy a 69% profit margin onsite, versus just 38% from deliveries. Uber could give up profit to keep them happy, but that’s not what IPO investors want to hear.
The Case For Making Low-Tech ‘Dumb’ Cities Instead Of ‘Smart’ Ones
There’s no concrete definition of a smart city, but high-tech versions promise to use cameras and sensors to monitor everyone and everything, from bins to bridges, and use the resulting data to help the city run smoothly. But what if we ditched the data and embraced ancient technology instead?
Behind The Scenes At Rotten Tomatoes
Humans, not algorithms, determine those ubiquitous scores. The Tomatometer is run by a team of “curators” who read just about every known review from a gigantic pool of approved critics, then decide if each is positive or negative. Once a movie has five reviews, it is Tomatometer-eligible.
Start-up Spots Gap In Market For Ethical ‘Chick-Culling Free’ Eggs
Seleggt, a German start-up, is attempting to find a commercial use for its solution to the issue of chick culling in the farming industry. The eggs are marked with a ‘respeggt’ stamp, and customers know they are buying eggs produced free of chick culling.
Kidney Stone Drug Found To Starve Pancreatic Cancer Cells To Death
A research team at Columbia University has made an exciting discovery, finding that a compound currently under development for a rare kidney stone disease can starve pancreatic cancer cells of a key amino acid they depend on, a technique that proved to stop tumor growth in mice.