The Peruvian Corruption-Buster Bigger Than Mueller
With his implacable pursuit of the presidential trio, the corruption-busting prosecutor José Domingo Pérez has established an international template for how to prosecute former heads of state on graft charges.
The Secret History Of Facial Recognition
Sixty years ago, a sharecropper’s son invented a technology to identify faces. Then the record of his role all but vanished. He died on October 4, 1995. His obituary in the Austin American-Statesman made no mention of his work on facial recognition. Who was Woody Bledsoe, and who was he working for?
When The iPhone Nearly Killed A Nation
Nokia dominated the first decade of the cellphone boom, becoming a beloved brand around the world and pumping billions of dollars into the Finnish economy. Then, along came Steve Jobs and his iPhone in 2007 and ruined everything. Tens of thousands of jobs were lost. Nokia sold its phone business to Microsoft. And Finns took a serious hit to their country pride.
How America Ends
The United States is undergoing a transition perhaps no rich and stable democracy has ever experienced: Its historically dominant group is on its way to becoming a political minority—and its minority groups are asserting their co-equal rights and interests.
The Illustrated History Of How Sugar Conquered The World
If you want to understand Western history, you have to understand sugar. And vice versa. Because sugar’s not just something sweet: over the centuries it’s been a medicine, a spice, a symbol of royalty, and an instrument of disease, addiction, and oppression.
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.
On Walkman’s 40th Anniversary, Sony Opens Retro Exhibition In Tokyo
Sony Corp. opened an exhibition Monday in Tokyo’s bustling Ginza district to mark the 40th anniversary of its signature Walkman. The handheld audio player debuted on July 1, 1979, offering portable music to ears across the world. In the years that followed, over 400 million units would be sold.
The Deadliest Disaster At Sea Killed Thousands, Yet Its Story Is Little-Known
In the final months of World War II, 75 years ago, German citizens and soldiers fleeing the Soviet army died when the “Wilhelm Gustloff” sank. The death toll from its sinking numbered in the thousands, some put it as high as 9,000.
The Economist With A Radical Plan To Solve Wealth Inequality
Thomas Piketty’s 753-page book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”, published in 2013, sold 2.5 million copies worldwide and helped put inequality on the global agenda. But his latest, the even thicker “Capital and Ideology”, may prove still more influential.
The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign To Reelect The President
After the 2016 election, much was made of the threats posed to American democracy by foreign disinformation. Trump and his domestic allies were beginning to adopt the same tactics of information warfare that have kept the world’s demagogues and strongmen in power.
The My Generation: An Oral History Of Myspace Music
At Myspace’s height, the website changed the way artists and fans found each other and how record labels and buzz-seeking blogs found fresh meat. Artists like Panic! At The Disco, Arctic Monkeys, Soulja Boy, Lily Allen, and Colbie Caillat would become pop stars in part because of their presence on the site.
The War on Poverty Is Over. Rich People Won.
Why do so many Americans live in poverty? Because so many rich people benefit from it. This is the thesis of the lauded sociologist Matthew Desmond. He shows how employers, financial institutions, and landlords extract money from low-income families while rich families hoard opportunities for themselves.
Who Invented The Wheel? And How Did They Do It?
The wagon—and the wagon wheel—could not have been put together in stages. Either it works, or it doesn’t. And it enabled humans to spread rapidly into huge parts of the world.
To Defy The United States, Fidel Castro Built The World’s Greatest Ice Cream Parlor
When the United States announced a total embargo in 1962, cutting Cuba off from the American dairy market, Castro found himself the leader of a milk-free island that was too warm for dairy cows. Undaunted, he demanded, in 1966, the construction of the greatest ice cream parlor the world had ever seen. Visitors to Havana can still eat there today.
The Great Affordability Crisis Breaking America
In one of the best decades the American economy has ever recorded, families were bled dry by landlords, hospital administrators, university bursars, and child-care centers. For millions, a roaring economy felt precarious or downright terrible.
‘It’s Been Hell’: Inside The Town Where Trumpers Are Building A Private Wall
Either as a demonstration of loyalty to the president or, in the case of one developer, a bid for lucrative government contracts, some private citizens are furiously erecting their own barriers along the Southwest border. The latest iteration, the three-and-a-half-mile Rio Grande Valley wall, is now nearly complete.
The Curse Of The Ship Of Gold
How Tommy Thompson, a brilliant scientist, went from discovering a mother lode of treasure at the bottom of the sea to fleeing from authorities with suitcases full of cash.
The Complexities Of A Universal Basic Income
“Universal basic income” was for a long time an obscure term bandied about in economics circles. That’s no longer the case. The idea, usually involving a monthly cash grant to every person with no strings attached, has entered mainstream discourse. Small programs hint at how it might work — or not — on a national scale.
The Very Dramatic $3,000,000 Qantas Airlines Heist
Just after midday on May 26th 1971, Australian authorities received a call from a mysterious Mr. Brown claiming that a Qantas flight from Sydney to Hong Kong was carrying a bomb. He then claimed that he would disclose the location of the onboard bomb in return for a hefty sum.
The Last Time Democracy Almost Died
The last time democracy nearly died all over the world and almost all at once, Americans argued about it, and then they tried to fix it. What can we learn from the upheaval of the 1930s?