The Rise Of Junk Science
Fake publications are corrupting the world of research—and influencing real news. At the most benign level of the junk industry are papers, published in journals with no effective screening process, that are obvious nonsense.
The Doomsday Invention: Will Artificial Intelligence Bring Us Utopia Or Destruction?
Philosopher Nick Bostrom argues that true artificial intelligence, if it is realized, might pose a danger that exceeds every previous threat from technology—even nuclear weapons—and that if its development is not managed carefully humanity risks engineering its own extinction.
The Big Business Of Loneliness
Capitalism abhors a vacuum, and into this collective social void has stepped a fleet of companies and entrepreneurs selling an end to social isolation. Over the past decade, on-demand connection has become both a big business and a powerful marketing opportunity.
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?
Online Streaming: Television’s Looming Car Crash
As the distribution model for entertainment is remade, a revolutionary ardour has seized the industry: the choice is to win the streaming battle against the likes of Netflix, or face commercial oblivion. The immediate result has been clear: more television than ever before. There were 496 scripted TV shows made in the US last year, more than double the 216 series released in 2010.
The Confessions Of Marcus Hutchins, The Hacker Who Saved The Internet
At 22, he saved the internet from what was the worst cyberattack in history: a piece of malware called WannaCry. It was Hutchins who had found and triggered the secret kill switch contained in its code, neutering WannaCry’s global threat immediately. Then he was arrested by the FBI.
The Jungle Prince Of Delhi
For 40 years, journalists chronicled the eccentric royal family of Oudh, deposed aristocrats who lived in a ruined palace in the Indian capital. It was a tragic, astonishing story. But was it true?
Your Plastic Addiction Is Bankrolling Big Oil
As the world transitions slowly but surely away from fuel-guzzling cars, gas-powered buildings, and coal-fired power plants, fossil fuel company execs must count on growth that comes from somewhere else—and they see their savior as plastics.
Inside Mark Zuckerberg’s Lost Notebook
In a journal with unlined 8-by-10 paper, Zuckerberg sketched his mission and product design and explored how a tiny company might become a vital utility for the world. In detail, he described features called Open Registration and Feed, two products that would supercharge his company.
The World’s Tallest Water Slide Was a Terrible, Tragic Idea
At nearly 169 feet tall, Verrückt was taller than Niagara Falls. Riders flew down the world’s tallest water slide at 70 miles per hour, challenging the laws of physics. Then, on August 7, 2016, 10-year-old Caleb Schwab was decapitated on the ride. What went wrong to cause such a horrific tragedy?
A Parallel Neighborhood Of Unhoused People Has Grown Up Around The Existing Community
In Koreatown, the homeless live on sidewalks, in alleyways, parks—and anyplace else they can find. Dilapidated tents bound together with rope create strange formations amid the city’s mix of modern and Art Deco architecture. They awkwardly jut from the sidewalks like poorly crafted spaceships.
How Online Shopping Makes Suckers Of Us All
Will you pay more for those shoes before 7 p.m.? Would the price tag be different if you lived in the suburbs? Standard prices and simple discounts are giving way to far more exotic strategies, designed to extract every last dollar from the consumer.
The Super-Rich Are Being Scammed On Their Private Jets
Five grand for mystery sushi. Seven for plastic cups. And more fuel than the plane could possibly hold. Such are the deceptions stinging the billionaires and mere millionaires of today’s private jet-set class. In an era of ultra-wealth, reports of shady billing related to private-jet travel are on the rise.
The Four-Letter Code To Selling Just About Anything
As the father of industrial design, Raymond Loewy had an uncanny sense of how to make things fashionable. He believed that consumers are torn between two opposing forces: neophilia, a curiosity about new things; and neophobia, a fear of anything too new.
Where Amazon Returns Go To Be Resold By Hustlers
Liquidity Services, the operator of liquidation.com, became a major (though not exclusive) handler of Amazon’s American liquidations. The company calls dealing with returns “the reverse supply chain”—a part of the retail business that has been growing in importance as online shopping becomes more popular.
The Madness Of Airline Élite Status
When you fly a lot for work, as I do, you check your frequent-flier mile balance often, to provide data for competitive commiseration. Frequent fliers sometimes go to great lengths to keep their airline élite status, and those efforts are often completely out of proportion to the perks.
What Happens When Bitcoin Miners Take Over Your Town
Miners now pouring into Eastern Washington are building sites with tens of thousands of servers and electrical loads of as much as 30 megawatts, or enough to power a neighborhood of 13,000 homes. And in the arms race that cryptocurrency mining has become, even these operations will soon be considered small-scale.
The Future Of Work Looks Like Staying Out Of The Office
About 24 percent of US workers employed full-time did “some or all” of their work at home, according to the most recent federal data available. Dozens of studies find remote workers happy and productive. Why not let them be?
Your Colleagues Don’t Read Anything You Write. Here’s How to Change That.
Long emails and dense, difficult to decipher memos mean modern office communication goes ignored more often than it’s understood. Beneath these brutal realities, getting busy co-workers and bosses to take action means changing eight things about the way we communicate.
How Half A Tonne Of Cocaine Transformed The Life Of An Island
In 2001, a smugglers’ yacht washed up in the Azores and disgorged its contents. The island of São Miguel was quickly flooded with high-grade cocaine – and nearly 20 years on, it is still feeling the effects.