‘The Intelligence Coup Of The Century’
For more than half a century, governments all over the world trusted a single company, Crypto AG, to keep the communications of their spies, soldiers and diplomats secret. But what none of its customers ever knew was that Crypto AG was secretly owned by the CIA.
What The Psychedelic Drug Ayahuasca Showed Me About My Life
For four consecutive nights, a group of 78 of us here at a retreat center in Costa Rica have been drinking a foul-tasting, molasses-like tea containing ayahuasca, a plant concoction that contains the natural hallucinogen known as DMT.
It May Be the Biggest Tax Heist Ever. And Europe Wants Justice.
Stock traders are accused of siphoning $60 billion from state coffers, in a scheme that one called “the devil’s machine.” The scheme was built around “cum-ex trading”: a monetary maneuver to avoid double taxation of investment profits. Germany is the first country to try to get its money back.
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 Lie That Helped Build Nintendo
In 1981, a young Swede called Owe Bergsten strolled through Singapore to pass the time before his flight home. Passing a camera shop, he spotted a two-button LCD game called ‘Fire RC-04’ in the window. The story of a man, a lie, a video game handheld, and a business empire.
Remembering The Nucleon, Ford’s 1958 Nuclear-powered Concept Car That Never Was
Nearly 30 years before the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, engineers at Ford designed and made a 3/8 scale model of a car, which it said would be powered by a nuclear reactor in the trunk.
How The Killing Of An Abusive Father By His Daughters Fuelled Russia’s Culture Wars
News of the killing of three teenage sisters quickly spread across Russia, and in the months that followed, the country was divided over what drove the sisters to kill their own father. It inspired a campaign for change – and a backlash from the patriarchy.
What Happened To Giant Flying Boats? The Saunders-Roe Princess Story
In 1943, Saunders-Roe, an iconic British aircraft builder, began planning for the future by drafting a design for a truly next-generation flying boat. But by the time the Princess took its first flight, the world had been completely transformed by the rapid development of runways and advances in land-based aircraft.
The Father Who Went Undercover To Find His Son’s Killers
After police failed to solve his son’s murder, Francisco Holgado infiltrated the local criminal underworld in pursuit of those responsible. He became a national hero – but at what cost?
Gun Shop, America’s Love Affair With Guns
This film shows 2,328 firearms, out of the 393 million currently in the US. Arranged in a dizzying 24 frames per second progression, from handguns to semi-automatic rifles, “Gun Shop” encourages viewers to critically examine America’s love affair with guns.
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 British Once Built A 1,100-Mile Hedge Through The Middle Of India
There was nothing charming about what the British built. It wasn’t meant to protect anything except imperial revenue. It grew along the Inland Customs Line, a bureaucratic barrier that the British created to impose a high salt tax on the people living on one side of the line—the relatively saltless one.
The Oldest Tattooing Family In The World
Wasim Razzouk is a tattoo artist in Jerusalem’s Old City. Ink runs deep in his family. The Razzouks have been tattooing visitors to the Holy Land for 500 years (and in Egypt for 200 years before that). Christian pilgrims flock to Razzouk Tattoo to get a cross tattoo based on one of the designs on wooden stamps that have been in the Razzouk family for generations.
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.
Events That Changed The Course Of History, In Photos
Great documentary photography will capture turning points: moments that change the course of history on a global, national, or even personal level. The world’s best photographers pick out the most powerful images from their archives.
How Big Tech Plans To Profit From The Pandemic
As the coronavirus continues to kill thousands each day, tech companies are seizing the opportunity to extend their reach and power. Towards a future in which, for the privileged, almost everything is home delivered, either virtually via streaming and cloud technology, or physically via driverless vehicle or drone.
The Dark History Of How Coffee Took Over The World
Four hundred years ago, Coffea arabica, a tropical shrub bearing glossy green leaves and bright-red berries, was virtually unknown outside of the Arab world and the corner of Ethiopia where it had been discovered in the ninth century.
The Gambler Who Cracked The Horse-Racing Code
Bill Benter did the impossible: He wrote an algorithm that couldn’t lose at the track. Close to a billion dollars later, he tells his story for the first time. “I find the real business world to be a lot more difficult than horse racing.”
The Malaysian Job: How Wall Street Enabled A Global Financial Scandal
The story of possibly the largest fraud in financial history—in which, billions of dollars were diverted from a Malaysian sovereign-wealth fund called 1Malaysia Development Berhad into covert campaign-finance accounts, U.S. political campaigns, Hollywood movies, and the pockets of innumerable other recipients.
Heaven Or High Water: Selling Miami’s Last 50 Years
The consensus among informed observers is that the sea will rise in Miami Beach somewhere between 13 and 34 inches by 2050. Sunset Harbour is expected to fare slightly worse, and to do so more quickly. Thus, I felt the Sunset Harbour area was a good place to start pretending to buy a home here.
The Murder House
A mysterious mansion. A murder-suicide. Paranormal activity. This is the true story of 2475 Glendower Place. Before the Internet, it retained its anonymity, hiding at the foot of Griffith Park, at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains. Now it’s becoming an Amityville horror for the Facebook generation.